On March 16, 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) was notified of 3 deaths
and 2 suspected Ebola cases of a mother and child in Koropara, Guinea. Since then, the child has succumbed
to the infection and the mother is reported to be extremely ill. Another Koropara civilian died after traveling to a neighboring village, which is sparking alarm of the virus possibly spreading to more individuals.
The emergency coordination mechanism
which was in place during the recent Ebola epidemic in West Africa has been reactivated by local health officials in Guinea. WHO deployed epidemiologists, surveillance experts, contact tracers, vaccinators, social mobilizers, health promoters, and a team of infection prevention and control experts to the outbreak site.
Health officials have identified 816 individuals (from 107 households) who came in contact with the infected family and have placed them under medical surveillance in order to contain the Ebola virus. The movement of more than 100 individuals suspected at high-risk for infection, has been restricted. Ebola vaccines are to be administered to all individuals with suspected Ebola infections. Surrounding villages will be searched for infected individuals, since the Koropara civilian traveled to Macenta (a neighboring village) to consult a healer. Fifty individuals who came in contact with the traveler have been identified and are being monitored.
Of the individuals who were in close contact with the infected family, WHO reports that some have tested positive for Ebola. Samples from these lab-confirmed cases have ruled out the possibility of the disease originating from the animal population. Test samples from both the confirmed cases and suspected high-risk contacts have been sent to a Conakry lab for further testing.
Since the 2014 outbreak, more than 28,500 individuals in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone have been infected with Ebola in what is known to be the world’s largest Ebola epidemic. The Ebola outbreak in Guinea was declared ‘over’ in late 2015, and so, local health authorities, with the help of WHO, have expended all efforts to contain the disease from spreading and causing another possible outbreak. A public awareness campaign
and other community-engaging activities
are among some of the prevention and disease control measures which have been established in all areas suspected of harboring infection.
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