New Ebola cases in Guinea as WHO warns of possible flare-ups

The Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) has refused to go away as the World Health Organisation (WHO) has dispatched a team of specialists to the southern prefecture of Nzérékoré after two new cases of Ebola were detected and confirmed in a rural village.

The WHO in a statement yesterday said Guinean health officials in the region alerted the organisation and partners on March 16 to three unexplained deaths in recent weeks in the village of Koropara and said other members of the same family are currently showing symptoms characteristic of Ebola.

According to the statement, Guinea’s Ministry of Health, WHO, the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) sent in investigators on March 17. “Samples were taken from four individuals. A mother and her five-year-old son, relatives of the deceased, confirmed positive for Ebola virus disease in lab tests. The two have been taken to a treatment facility,” the WHO noted.

In coordination with Guinea’s Ministry of Health, the WHO said it has deployed an initial team of epidemiologists, surveillance experts, vaccinators, social mobilizers, contact tracers and an anthropologist today to support an inter-agency response.

“More specialists are expected to arrive in the coming days. Response teams will work to investigate the origin of the new infections and to identify, isolate, vaccinate and monitor all contacts of the new cases and those who died,” it noted.

The new infections in Guinea were confirmed the same day that WHO declared the end of the latest Ebola flare-up in neighbouring Sierra Leone.

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