Epidemic: The response to Ebola is organized in Guinea

PostedFebruary 15, 2021, 9:06 PM

A fifth person died of Ebola on Monday in Guinea, where health authorities are doing everything to avoid reliving an outbreak of the epidemic.

The health authorities want to avoid reliving the disaster scenario of 2013-2016 when the epidemic killed 11,300 people in West Africa.

AFP

Ebola hemorrhagic fever has killed five people, according to a new report released Monday, in Guinea, where health authorities, the United Nations and NGOs such as Médecins sans frontières are organizing the response with the hope of avoiding the disaster scenario of 2013-2016 epidemic in West Africa.

According to the latest epidemiological bulletin from the National Health Security Agency (ANSS), five people have died, one of whom was confirmed positive for the Ebola virus, the other four being considered “probable cases”. Two other people have tested positive, the agency said, and ten more are showing symptoms.

A “first emergency humanitarian flight”, with UN and Guinean government experts on board, as well as sanitary equipment, arrived in the early evening in Nzérékoré, in Forest Guinea (south-east), posted on Twitter the United Nations office in Guinea.

One family

There was some confusion over the weekend over the number of casualties. Saturday, the Minister of Health, Rémy Lamah, had mentioned four deaths, toll reduced to three on Sunday by the ANSS. The seven confirmed and probable cases are members of the same family, according to a source close to health authorities.

The first is a 51-year-old nurse from Gouécké, a town of some 23,000 inhabitants near Nzérékoré, who died at the end of January. The other six people who fell ill, four of whom have since died, “stayed with the deceased and participated in her unsafe burial”.

There are reasons to be “worried”, because the “patient zero” who infected the nurse is not identified, according to an official of an NGO on condition of anonymity. Another concern: “the potential contacts of the husband, who traveled to Conakry, we do not really know under what conditions”. “It is always a concern to see the emergence of a disease as serious as Ebola”, concedes in an interview granted Monday to AFP the representative in Conakry of the WHO, Alfred George Ki-Zerbo.

Reasons to be optimistic

But he tempers, emphasizing the lessons learned from previous epidemics and recent medical advances, such as “rapid detection tests, new treatments but also and above all the vaccine, which helps protect communities. We can be optimistic and think that we will not have a catastrophe of the magnitude of that of the last time ”.

“In recent years, the country has equipped itself with structures to deal with this type of epidemic. Don’t panic, let’s respect the sanitary instructions. Ebola will be defeated again, ”Prime Minister Ibrahima Kassory Fofana said on Twitter.

Causing a sudden fever, headaches, vomiting and diarrhea, the Ebola virus was first identified in 1976 in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The worst epidemic started in Forest Guinea in December 2013, before spreading to Liberia and Sierra Leone. It ended in 2016 after killing more than 11,300 for some 28,600 cases, more than 99% in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Avoid “hostile reactions”

While the ANSS is strengthening its reception system for the sick, Médecins sans frontières (MSF) is also preparing to send a small experienced team of doctors, nurses and logisticians, according to the head of the operation, Anja Wolz.

“We know that when such a frightening disease is misunderstood in the community, and individuals suddenly arrive giving instructions, in outfits resembling spacesuits, it can easily generate a hostile reaction,” he said. she explains.

“Before arriving in large convoys of vehicles full of individuals in space gear, we must meet influential people, elders, village leaders… to ask them for their opinion on the best means of conveying information, to encourage adherence to means of prevention and safe behavior to fight against Ebola ”.

(AFP)

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