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Guinea: Nation Records 4 Ebola Deaths

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Guinea’s Health Ministry is “really concerned” over a recent outbreak of the rare but deadly virus that causes fever, aches, diarrhea, and sometimes bleeding. DR Congo has also reported cases.

In Guinea, four people have died of Ebola in a resurgence of the disease that first emerged five years ago, the country’s health minister said Saturday.

Remy Lamah told the AFP news agency that officials were “really concerned” about the Ebola fatalities, the first since a 2013-2016 epidemic — which began in Guinea and saw 11,300 die from the disease across the region.

One of the latest victims in the West African country was a nurse who developed symptoms in late January and was buried on February 1, National Health Security Agency chief Sakoba Keita told local media.

“Among those who took part in the burial, eight people showed symptoms: diarrhea, vomiting and bleeding,” Keita said. “Three of them died and four others are in hospital.”

The four deaths from Ebola hemorrhagic fever occurred in the southeast region of Nzerekore, the health official added.

Keita told the local press that one patient had “escaped” only to later be found, and subsequently returned to the hospital.

WHO Ebola alert

The World Health Organization (WHO) has viewed each fresh emergence of Ebola since 2016 with extreme concern, treating the most recent outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo as a global health emergency.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus posted on Twitter that the UN health body had been made aware of two suspected cases in Guinea.

“Confirmatory testing underway,” Tedros said, adding that WHO was “supporting readiness and response efforts.”

DR Congo has faced many outbreaks of the disease, with the WHO on Thursday confirming a resurgence three months after authorities declared the end of the country’s latest epidemic.

In November last year, the central African country declared the six-month epidemic was at an end. It was the 11th outbreak DR Congo has reported in total, with 55 people dying from 130 reported cases.

Vaccine help

The widespread use of vaccines, which were given to more than 40,000 people, helped prevent further outbreaks.

The 2013-2016 epidemic galvanized the development of a vaccine against Ebola, with an international emergency stockpile of 500,000 doses planned to respond quickly to future outbreaks, the vaccine alliance GAVI said in January.

DW

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