Ebola kills again in Guinea, WHO had warned
In recent months, the risk of spread of Zika virus characterized the global health emergency, but in Africa did not create alarm remaining limited to a single case recorded in January in Cape Verde.Quite different, the situation regarding Ebola virus after the discovery, last March 16, of new infections in the village of Korokpara, in the prefecture of N’Zerekore, in southeastern Guinea, confirmed by Fode Tass Sylla, spokesman for the Guinea’s Ebola coordination unit.
- Friday, 25 March 2016
Guinea, where in December 2013 was recorded the first case of the worst Ebola outbreak in history, officially was declared Ebola-free by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 29 December 2015.
The African country in less than three months later has to cope again with the deadly virus, which so far has resulted in two new deaths confirmed, in addition to three other probable, for which it was not possible to carry out tests because the bodies had been buried before analysis. Meanwhile, 816 people that might have come into contact with victims are now under surveillance.
After reporting, the Ministry of Health in Conakry, WHO, UNICEF and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the leading national public health institute of the United States, have promptly sent a team of specialists. They ordered the immediate admission to a clinic for two relatives of the dead: a woman and her five-year-old son, positive test results.
This has also led the regional health organizations to restart the contrast campaign of the disease and prompted Liberia to announce the closure of borders with Guinea as a precautionary measure.
However, WHO after declaring, last January 14, the end of the most recent epidemic of Ebola virus has invited to remain vigilant on the risk of new outbreaks. WHO explained that despite having broken all the chains of contagion, alert was not still over because in the organism of some survivors the virus can withstand even a year after the end of the infection.
In essence, the Geneva Agency warned that any Ebola returns were to be put into account and Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, the three countries where the epidemic is concentrated, must maintain maximum uptime in preventing, detect and counter new outbreaks.
Nevertheless, it is not the first time, which are reported new outbreaks from the official announcement of the end of the epidemic, which in 24 months resulted in 11,315 deaths with 28,637 confirmed cases of infection, including 4,767 children.
A new case of hemorrhagic fever had been recorded less than 24 hours after the final Ebola-free in the town of Magburaka in Sierra Leone, near the border with Guinea. Now the new lethal contagions confirm that it is necessary to continue to operate in those areas.
The Director General of the West African Health Organization (WAHO), Xavier Crespin, said that the discovery of new cases in Guinea shows that the transmission virus “has not stopped, and all countries should pay great attention because still serve years before the disease can be completely eradicated.”
In addition, keep on emerging worrying results about the last Hemorrhagic Fever Epidemic that has shaken the world, as evidenced by the conclusions of the work of the special session dedicated Ebola during the 23rd Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, held in late February in Boston.
The researchers presented new evidence that the epidemic in West Africa has had long-term effects on many survivors, including joint pain, neurological problems and eye damage.
Virologists have also found that several men recovered from the disease can produce seminal fluid that is positive to the virus at least until nine months after the acute infection. This makes the latent threat of new outbreaks originated from sexual transmission and carries the risk for most people to disseminate the virus behind their backs.
Scientists also presented disappointing results from a clinical trial of what was once considered the most promising Ebola treatment: an antibody cocktail called ZMapp. The study, started late in the epidemic, enrolled only 72 people than 200 that researchers had planned, and it failed to provide statistically significant results.