By Saliou Samb
CONAKRY – An Ebola outbreak that began in southeastern Guinea in February, infecting 16 people and killing 12, has been declared over, the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization said on Saturday. .
“I solemnly declare the end of the Ebola epidemic in Guinea,” Health Minister Rémy Lamah said at a press conference in the capital Conakry, to the cheers of health workers who were virtually watching from the epicenter of the outbreak in Nzerekore.
Health officials were able to act quickly to tackle the resurgence of the virus, which causes severe bleeding and organ failure and spreads through contact with bodily fluids, following lessons learned from previous outbreaks in Guinea and the Democratic Republic of the Congo .
“Based on the lessons learned from the 2014-16 epidemic and through rapid and coordinated response efforts (…) Guinea has succeeded in controlling the epidemic and preventing its spread beyond its borders “WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement.
The Ebola epidemic in 2014-2016 killed 11,300 people, mainly in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.
WHO has helped ship around 24,000 doses of Ebola vaccine that have immunized nearly 11,000 people in the region, including more than 2,800 frontline health workers.
“Although this Ebola epidemic broke out in the same region as West Africa (…) thanks to new innovations and lessons learned, Guinea managed to contain the virus in four months”, said Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. “We are getting faster, better and smarter in the fight against Ebola.”
Guinea declares end of Ebola epidemic that killed 12
SourceGuinea declares end of Ebola epidemic that killed 12