Two new cases Can Ebola not be wiped out in West Africa?
Two new Ebola cases have been reported in Guinea. Actually, the epidemic was considered over in the West African country. The World Health Organization (WHO) is very worried. First experts were sent to the capital of the country.
Ebola epidemic seemed to have been overcome
Last December, Guinea was celebrated. The Ebola epidemic seems to have been overcome, it was said at that time. As the World Health Organization (WHO) announced, no one had been infected with the virus in the country for more than 42 days. No one was ill, no one had died. But now it became known that there were two new cases. Just hours before the new cases became public, WHO declared the Ebola epidemic in neighboring Sierra Leone over. The joy of ending the epidemic was once again disappointed.
Mother and son tested positive for virus
As news agency AP reports, the WHO sent a team of experts to Koropara, a town in remote N'Zerekore Prefecture in southeastern Guinea. According to the information, three family members of the patients may have died in unexplained circumstances. It is said that it should be checked whether they too had been infected with the Ebola virus. Koropara is located about 1,000 kilometers from Guinea's capital Conakry. According to a WHO statement, the two infected individuals, a mother and her five-year-old son, had shown typical Ebola symptoms and tested positive for the virus. The two patients were taken to a treatment center.
Survivors may need to be quarantined longer
WHO was criticized after the outbreak of the Ebola epidemic in 2014 for not responding quickly and efficiently enough. As the AP message states, this could be a reason for WHO's swift action. For the coming days, the posting of other experts was announced. It must be clarified whether the virus repeatedly jumps over to humans, for example when dealing with wildlife. It is also possible that survivors are more contagious than previously thought. This would mean that they stay in quarantine longer and avoid prolonged body contact.
More cases are likely
In early 2014, the first Ebola cases occurred in West Africa, in Guinea. The epidemic, which spread from there to Sierra Leone and Liberia, killed a total of more than 11,300 people. It is known that the pathogen transmits through body fluids such as saliva, semen or blood. Sierra Leone had announced a few days ago the end of the epidemic within its borders. Neighboring Guinea was officially declared Ebola-free on December 29th. Although the epidemic had not yet been conquered, no new infections had occurred for 42 days - which is twice the maximum incubation period. In March, the country could have celebrated the end of the 90-day monitoring period. When the WHO declared that Ebola's worst outbreak was over on 14 January because there had been no transmission in all three West African countries, the virus was detected in a corpse in Sierra Leone the very next day. For some time experts have warned that more cases are likely. The medical staff should be prepared to respond to new cases. (Ad)