It seems the epidemic is not yet over: there are new Ebola cases in Guinea including three doctors. Officials blame the spread of the disease on insufficient surveillance and people not following safety procedures.
The disease was first detected in 2014 in the eastern part of Guiea and since then it spread. taking the the lives of more than 10,000 people in the three most affected West Afican countries. Until recently, the epidemic seemed to be on the decline but Guinea reported many new cases in the last three weeks.
According to data provided by a governmental health report, there were even 21 new case in one single day, a powerful increase from the average of 8 new patients per day.
Fatoumata Lejeune-Kaba, spokeswoman for the U.N.’s Ebola emergency response mission UNMEER stated that the series of new infections was linked back to a woman who died of Ebola and wasn’t buried according to safety rules. She made the following statement:
“It’s due to individual behaviors. That is having a devastating effect on the community. People are simply not practising the safety rules that we have been talking about for a year.”
In Sierra Leone there are also new Ebola cases while Liberia is waiting to be declared “Ebola free” as there were no new cases reported.
The recent rise in Ebola cases in Guinea was reported in the capial and the southwestern town of Forecariah and there is a risk the disease could spread over the borders and to the neighbouring countries unless measures are taken to bring the endemic under control.
According to a spokesperson for the anti-Ebola task force in Guinea, the new cases were infected throuch high risk Ebola contacts who then left Forecariah ad developed the symptoms somewhere else, meaning that there was poor surveillance involved.
Three doctors also got infected at the Ignace Deen hospital in Conakry, a facillity which is not an Ebola center. According to a source from the Ministry of Health, the infections in the Conakry hospital happened also due to insufficiane vigilance, althogh staff were trained in terms of safety procedures.
A spokesperson from MSF, a medical charity organization said:
“There are numerous gaps in the Ebola response in Guinea, notably in surveillance of contacts, and that explains the difficulty in making any lasting progress towards ending the epidemic.”
Image Source: NBC News