The World Health Organization issued a public warning to ‘be ready’ for an Ebola outbreak as this many countries record new cases.
Between 2013 and 2016, more than 11,000 people died in West Africa after Ebola swept the nation. Now, the virus has officially been declared to be back.
According to reports out of Guinea, health officials have declared that they are dealing with an Ebola epidemic after the virus has caused the deaths of at least five people. So far, six countries have been put on red alert, all of which are neighboring countries to Guinea.
The World Health Organization’s Margaret Harris said, “We have already alerted the six countries around, including of course Sierra Leone and Liberia, and they are moving very fast to prepare and be ready and to look for any potential infection.”
Additionally, Harris also said that health officials have already identified close to 300 contacts in Congo and 109 in Guinea. At the moment, officials aren’t sure if the new ebola outbreak can be traced back to the virus being dormant in human communities or if it has made the jump from animals to humans again.
Guinea’s health minister Remy Lamah said that vaccines are being fast-tracked to the affected area, and officials believe that they will be able to quickly overcome this disease.
Harris said, “We don’t know if this is down to Ebola persisting in the human population or if it’s simply moving again from the animal population, but the genetic sequencing that’s ongoing will help with that information.”
Remy Lamah said, “In 2013, it took us months to understand that we were dealing with an Ebola epidemic, while this time, in less than four days, we were able to do analysis and have the results. Our medical teams are trained and seasoned. We have the means to quickly overcome this disease.”