Ebola outbreak in Guinea is over: WHO

 Ebola outbreak in Guinea is over: WHO
© The World Health Organization/Junior D. Kannah

The World Health Organization this week declared that the Ebola outbreak in Guinea, which has lasted four months, is over.

The outbreak consisted of 16 confirmed cases and seven probable cases in the country. There were a total of 12 deaths from the outbreak, according to a press release from WHO Africa. 

“I commend the affected communities, the government and people of Guinea, health workers, partners and everyone else whose dedicated efforts made it possible to contain this Ebola outbreak,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO’s director-general, stated.

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“Based on the lessons learned from the 2014–16 outbreak and through rapid, coordinated response efforts, community engagement, effective public health measures and the equitable use of vaccines, Guinea managed to control the outbreak and prevent its spread beyond its borders," Ghebreyesus added. "Our work in Guinea continues, including supporting survivors to access post-illness care."

The outbreak begin in a rural community on Feb. 14 when three cases were found. 

WHO sent 24,000 Ebola vaccines to Guinea during the outbreak.

This is the second Ebola outbreak, the first of which killed more than 11,000 people from 2014 to 2016. 

“Although this Ebola outbreak flared up in the same area as the West Africa one which killed 11 000 people, thanks to new innovations and lessons learned, Guinea managed to contain the virus in four months,” Matshidiso Moeti, WHO’s regional director for Africa, said. “We are getting faster, better and smarter at fighting Ebola.

"But while this outbreak is over, we must stay alert for a possible resurgence and ensure the expertise in Ebola expands to other health threats such as COVID-19.”