Two new cases: can't Ebola be eradicated in West Africa?

Two new cases: can't Ebola be eradicated in West Africa?

Plague in West Africa: Two Ebola cases once again announced
Two new Ebola cases have been reported in Guinea. The epidemic in the West African country was actually considered to be over. The World Health Organization (WHO) is very concerned. The first experts were dispatched to the country's capital.

Ebola epidemic seemed over
There was a celebration in Guinea last December. The Ebola epidemic appears to be over, it was said at the time. As the World Health Organization (WHO) announced, no one in the country had been infected with the virus for more than 42 days. Nobody was sick, nobody had died. But it has now become known that there have been two new cases. Just a few hours before the new cases became known, the WHO declared the Ebola epidemic in the neighboring country Sierra Leone over. The joy of an end to the epidemic has now been disappointed again.

Mother and son tested positive for virus
As news agency AP reports, WHO sent a team of experts to Koropara, a location in the remote N’Zerekore Prefecture in southeastern Guinea. According to the information, three family members of the patients may have died there under unexplained circumstances. It is said that it should be checked whether they too were infected with the Ebola virus. Koropara is around 1,000 kilometers from Guinea's capital, Conakry. According to a report by the WHO, the two infected people, a mother and her five-year-old son, had typical Ebola symptoms and were tested positive for the virus. The two patients were taken to a treatment center.

Survivors may need to be quarantined for longer
After the outbreak of the Ebola epidemic in 2014, the WHO was criticized for not reacting quickly and efficiently enough. As stated in the AP report, this could be a reason for WHO to act quickly. The sending of further experts has been announced for the coming days. It has to be clarified whether the virus repeatedly spreads to humans, for example when dealing with wild animals. It is also possible that survivors are contagious longer than previously thought. This would mean that they would stay in quarantine longer and avoid physical contact for longer.

More cases are likely
At the beginning of 2014, the first Ebola cases occurred in West Africa, namely in Guinea. A total of over 11,300 people died as a result of the epidemic, which spread to Sierra Leone and Liberia from there. It is known that the pathogen is transmitted through body fluids such as saliva, semen or blood. Sierra Leone had announced the end of the epidemic within its limits a few days ago. Neighboring Guinea was officially declared Ebola-free on December 29th. Although the disease had not yet been defeated, no new infections had occurred for 42 days - twice the maximum incubation period. The country could have celebrated the end of the 90-day surveillance period in March. When the WHO announced the worst Ebola outbreak on 14 January, because there were no more transmissions in all three West African countries, the virus was found in a body in Sierra Leone the next day. Experts have long warned that more cases are likely. Medical staff should be ready to respond to new cases. (ad)

Author and source information



Video: Despite outbreak, Ebola treatment and vaccine represent resounding scientific success