While The World Fights COVID, A Different Outbreak Was Defeated In Guinea

On Saturday, the WHO (World Health Organisation) announced the demise of Guinea’s second Ebola outbreak, which was reported in February and took 12 lives.

The WHO official tally reported 16 confirmed cases and seven possible infections. Thankfully, the restrained size of the new flare-up is the consequence of the experience from the 2013-16 epidemic, which, unfortunately, took over 11,300 lives, mainly in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.

This time around, the death tally was approximately a thousand times smaller, which is a very remarkable achievement.

Alfred Ki-Zerbo, a WHO official, expressed his honour of declaring the “end of Ebola” in Guinea during a ceremony in the southeastern Nzerekore area. The disease broke out in late January.

Global regulations obliged Guinea officials to wait for 42 days (twice the incubation period of the virus) to declare the epidemic over officially.

The wait finished on Friday, many weeks after the final person was declared cured on May 8, according to a senior health ministry official.

Ramy Lamah, the Health Minister, declared the outbreak finished “in the name of the head of state” – President Alpha Conde.

The event saw approximately 200 people gathered inside of a health ministry building, including community leaders and local religious figures.

Ki-Zerbo expressed his appreciation for the communities “who pitched in to overcome the disease.”

The last decade’s outbreak saw increased reluctance and outright hostility towards specialised control measures, which even drove some people in Guinea’s southeastern region to attack or kill government employees.

Tedros Adhanom, WHO chief, stated:

“Community engagement, effective public health measures and the equitable use of vaccines.”

The UN body revealed it delivered roughly 24,000 vaccine doses to Guinea. They also mentioned that approximately 11,000 people at increased risk had received shots, including over 2,800 frontline workers.

Tonia Nissen
Based out of Detroit, Tonia Nissen has been writing for Optic Flux since 2017 and is presently our Managing Editor. An experienced freelance health writer, Tonia obtained an English BA from the University of Detroit, then spent over 7 years working in various markets as a television reporter, producer and news videographer. Tonia is particularly interested in scientific innovation, climate technology, and the marine environment.