EBOLA VIRUS DISEASE ARISES IN LIBERIA AND GUINEA

New positive cases of Ebola have been confirmed in Liberia and Guinea with lab results confirming a 30-year-old Liberian woman passing due to the virus in Liberia’s capital city.

The woman died on March 31st while being transferred to a hospital in Monrovia. Ten days before her passing, she arrived in Monrovia with her children to the clinic shortly after husband died in Guinea from unknown causes. Since her passing, The ministry of health, partner agencies and team from the World Health Organization sent a team to the community in which she lived in, and the clinic where she was being treated. These teams carried out an investigation, identifying any individuals who may have been in contact with her. From these investigations, only her son is positive for Ebola virus disease, while her other children and sibling are under close monitoring by medical staff.

Meanwhile in Guinea, an outbreak of the virus has hit the southern region of Nzérékoré. On March 16th, Guinean authorities reported 3 probable Ebola deaths and 2 suspect Ebola cases in Koropara Centre, from the same family. To date, the number of probable and confirmed cases has risen to 5. Reactivating the immediate health response, various partners including WHO have dispersed vaccination teams and have called for restricted movement, to contain the spread of the virus.

According to a statement by the World Health Organization, Ebola is no longer regarded as a public health emergency of international concern, citing that Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone now have the detection and response capacities in place to effectively manage continuous eruptions of Ebola, referencing the recent outbreak in Liberia between November 2015 and January 14th this year.

WHO also mentioned that additional outbreaks are expected, due to the virus’s persistence in some survivors. Although Ebola is no longer considered a global epidemic, countries still need to stay on high alert with immediate responsive programs.