11K vaccinations help Guinea end Ebola outbreak after 4 months
Guinea has declared an end to an Ebola outbreak that began 4 months ago and killed 12 people.
The outbreak, which was declared over on June 19, included 16 confirmed and seven probable cases, officials said.
The outbreak began in mid-February after three cases were confirmed in Gouéké in N’Zerekore prefecture. According to WHO, initial investigations revealed that a nurse from a local health facility died on Jan. 28, 2021, and following her burial, six funeral attendees reported Ebola-like symptoms.
Researchers reported early on that the outbreak was related to the West Africa Ebola epidemic that ended in 2016 after more than 28,000 people were infected and around 11,300 died — the largest Ebola outbreak in history — suggesting that a persistently infected person was the source.
“Transmission of the virus by a survivor more than 5 years after recovery demonstrates the need for research to better understand persistent Ebola virus infection and highlights the necessity for strong and ongoing survivor programs,” CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, MPH, said in a statement.
“I commend the government and first responders in Guinea for ending the country’s Ebola outbreak,” Walensky said. “Our heartfelt sympathies are with the people who lost loved ones to this disease. CDC remains committed to supporting survivor programs and helping strengthen global preparedness and response capacities that can prevent or extinguish future Ebola outbreaks.”
WHO said around 24,000 doses of Ebola vaccine were shipped to Guinea for the outbreak and around 11,000 people at high risk were vaccinated, including more than 2,800 frontline workers.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, PhD, MSc, said the agency’s work in Guinea will continue, including supporting the outbreak survivors and helping them access post-illness care.
“I commend the affected communities, the government and people of Guinea, health workers, partners and everyone else whose dedicated efforts made it possible to contain this Ebola outbreak,” Tedros said in a statement. “Based on the lessons learned from the 2014-2016 outbreak and through rapid, coordinated response efforts, community engagement, effective public health measures and the equitable use of vaccines, Guinea managed to control the outbreak and prevent its spread beyond its borders.”
WHO. Ebola outbreak in Guinea declared over. https://www.afro.who.int/news/ebola-outbreak-guinea-declared-over. Accessed on June 21, 2021.