Update: Ebola Virus Disease in Guinea

An outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in Guinea was declared on the 14th February 2021. Three confirmed and four probable cases were reported from Gouéké, NZérékoré prefecture. A total of five of these seven cases have died.  Gouéké is located in the south east of Guinea, about 800 km from the capital Conakry, but about 100 km from various border points with Liberia and Ivory Coast. There is concern for spread of the virus to other locations in Guinea but also to neighbouring countries.

The index case involved a nurse that died at the end of January 2021. Following her funeral, six additional cases of persons with EVD-like symptoms were identified of which two cases were confirmed. At this stage of the investigations it is not clear how the index case contracted the disease. Laboratory analysis is being informed to determine the Ebola virus species involved in the outbreak.

The WHO reports that efforts are underway to deploy Ebola vaccines, contact tracing and treatment structures to contain the outbreak. The WHO reports that as of 15 February nearly 200 contacts have been identified, but that none of these have travelled to neighbouring countries. The containment responses will strongly hinge on the in-country experience gained during the West Africa EVD outbreak of 2013-2016 and the availability of antiviral treatment and Ebola vaccines.

Currently the WHO is not recommending any restrictions on travel and trade to Guinea due to the EVD outbreak. At this stage of the outbreak the risk of exportation to South Africa is low. On 18 February 2021, there are no confirmed or suspected cases of EVD in South Africa.

For more information on EVD visit the NICD and WHO websites.

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