By NewsDesk @bactiman63
Health authorities in Guinea declared an Ebola outbreak on 14 February after three cases detected in Gouécké, a rural community in N’Zerekore prefecture tested positive for the virus. It is the first Ebola outbreak in Guinea since 2016.
As of Feb. 18, Guinea has reported seven cases (3 confirmed and 4 probable) and 5 deaths.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is deploying teams of experts to support the national authorities ramp up the response and avert widespread infections.
More than 100 WHO staff, deployed from other countries and from within Guinea, are expected to be part of the Ebola response by the end of February.
Efforts are ongoing to step up surveillance, contact-tracing, testing and treatment as well as preparing for vaccination.
“We are hard at work, shifting quickly through the gears to get ahead of the virus. With experts and emergency supplies already getting on the ground, the response is off to a strong start,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. “Our collective, quick action is crucial to averting an uncontrolled spread of Ebola amid the COVID-19 pandemic which has already pushed health workers and health facilities to the edge.”
A humanitarian flight arrived on 15 February in N’Zerekore with 700 kg of medical equipment donated by WHO and partners. A consignment of more than 11 000 doses of Ebola vaccine is expected to arrive in Guinea this weekend. In addition, more than 8500 doses will be shipped from the United States of America for a total of 20 000 doses. Vaccination is set to kick off shortly afterwards. A 30-strong vaccination team has already been mobilized locally and is ready to deploy as soon as the vaccines are received.
With the epicentre of the Ebola outbreak in Guinea being a border area, countries in the sub-region are on high alert and increasing public health measures and surveillance in border towns and communities to quickly detect and respond to possible cross-border infections.
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