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Ebola outbreak in Guinea declared over: WHO

WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Photo: WHO/Jean Germain

Brazzaville/Conakry, June 20 (MNN) The Ebola outbreak in Guinea in mid-February has been declared over, the World Health Organisation said on Saturday.

It was the first time the disease resurfaced in the country since the deadly outbreak in West Africa that ended in 2016.

Guinean health authorities declared the outbreak on February 14, 2021 after three cases were detected in Gouecke, a rural community in the southern N’zerekore prefecture, the same region where the 2014–2016 outbreak first emerged before spreading into neighbouring Liberia and Sierra Leone and beyond.

A total of 16 confirmed and seven probable cases were reported in Guinea’s latest outbreak in which 11 patients survived and 12 lives lost.

Shortly after the infections were detected, national health authorities, with support from WHO and partners, mounted a swift response, tapping into the expertise gained in fighting recent outbreaks both in Guinea and in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

“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,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General.

“Based on the lessons learned from the 2014–16 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. Our work in Guinea continues, including supporting survivors to access post-illness care.”

WHO helped ship around 24,000 Ebola vaccine doses and supported the vaccination of nearly 11,000 people at high risk, including over 2800 frontline workers.

More than 100 WHO experts were on the ground coordinating key aspects of the response such as infection prevention and control, disease surveillance, testing, vaccination and treatment using new drugs.

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