ebola-doctors

Ebola Virus Resurfaces In Guinea, Killing Three People As Nation Declares A Second Epidemic

Anna Harnes - Author
By

Feb. 15 2021, Updated 4:05 a.m. ET

Health officials are reporting that at least three people in the Western African nation of Guinea have died of the Ebola virus. In addition, five others have tested positive, sparking fears of a new outbreak of the deadly disease and causing the government to declare a second epidemic. Between 2013 and 2016, more than 11,000 people in West Africa died from the virus, which triggered a global panic about a possible pandemic.

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According to the BBC, the three victims attended a burial, which is believed to be the source of the spread. They experienced well-known symptoms of the illness, including intestinal issues, vomiting, and bleeding. Ebola is highly infectious and can spread through multiple avenues. One of the most common is through direct contact with bodily fluids such as blood or vomit. However, it can also be passed to someone through contaminated environments.

Funerals are particularly dangerous if the person who passed away had been infected with Ebola. Communities often wash corpses as a cultural tradition; however, dead bodies are known for being incredibly toxic and can spread the disease for as long as three weeks after death.

The new cases and fatalities have been a source of surprise for many doctors and experts, as a vaccine had been developed as early as 2015. More effective versions of the drug were created in the years after. The government now hopes to import more doses of the vaccine and distribute it among the population in order to stop more infections.

“The WHO is on full alert and is in contact with the manufacturer [of a vaccine] to ensure the necessary doses are made available as quickly as possible to help fight back,” stated Alfred George Ki-Zerbo, the World Health Organization’s representative in Guinea.

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Meanwhile, Dr. Sakoba Keita, who heads Guinea’s national health agency, said that his team is planning on performing more tests to get additional information on the situation. Moreover, healthcare workers have been working to trace and quarantine those who might have been exposed.

Despite the decisive actions to combat the outbreak, authorities have nevertheless expressed their worries about another crisis, especially since Guinea is still dealing with the consequences of the first epidemic.

“It’s a huge concern to see the resurgence of Ebola in Guinea, a country that has already suffered so much from the disease,” said the WHO’s Regional Director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti, per Reuters.

Though Guinea is also fighting the novel coronavirus crisis as well, COVID-19 has not been as much of a threat in the country, with around 15,000 infections and 83 deaths counted among the population.

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