Guinea gov't says 2 people have died from Ebola
CONAKRY, Guinea – Two people from the same family have died from Ebola in Guinea, the government said Thursday, March 17 the first re-emergence of the virus in the country since the outbreak there was declared over in December.
Test samples from the two patients "revealed the presence of the Ebola hemorrhagic fever virus", the government said in a statement, while officials feared further suspected cases.
"For now, we have two confirmed cases and 3 suspected cases," it added.
All 5 are from the town of Korokpara in the southern region of Nzerekore.
"The health authorities have taken the appropriate measures to contain the spread of the disease," the statement added.
The announcement came on the same day that the World Health Organization said the latest flare-up of Ebola in neighboring Sierra Leone had officially ended.
The UN health agency confirmed Guinea's new cases on its Twitter account.
"WHO confirms that two people have tested positive for #Ebola in N'zerekore Prefecture, #Guinea," it said.
A source close to the local anti-Ebola coordination team told Agence France-Presse that the two deceased patients were a married couple who had both shown symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea.
"That attracted the attention of local people who alerted the health services in NZerekore," he said on condition of anonymity.
The worst Ebola outbreak on record has claimed over 11,300 lives since it first began in Guinea in December 2013. (READ: FAST FACTS: Deadliest Ebola outbreaks since 1976)
Nearly all of the deaths occurred in the 3 hardest-hit west African countries of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.
While the WHO hailed the fact that Sierra Leone had seen no new cases for 42 days – or two Ebola incubation cycles – as "a milestone" earlier Thursday, it also warned that a recurrence of the tropical disease remained a possibility.
"WHO continues to stress that Sierra Leone, as well as Liberia and Guinea, are still at risk of Ebola flare-ups, largely due to virus persistence in some survivors, and must remain on high alert and ready to respond," it said in a statement.
The WHO declared Guinea Ebola-free on December 29, followed by Liberia on January 14. – Rappler.com