Last Thursday, just hours after the WHO declared the end of active Ebola transmission in West Africa, we saw the the unwelcome news from Reuters Reporting: Two Test Positive For Ebola In Guinea followed the next day by a WHO Statement On Flare Up Of Ebola In Guinea.
While the WHO has consistently warned there might be setbacks, this news was nonetheless a disappointment.
Yesterday the media reported a 5th recent death from Ebola in this Guinea flare up, and we have a WHO report this morning describing containment efforts and the current epidemiological investigation.
On 16 March, Guinean health authorities alerted WHO and partners to 3 probable Ebola deaths and 2 suspect Ebola cases in the village of Koropara Centre, all from the same family. The following day, the 2 suspect cases, a mother and her 8-year-old daughter, tested positive for Ebola virus disease. The child has since died in a treatment facility and the mother is reported seriously ill. A high-risk contact, who travelled to the neighbouring prefecture of Macenta to consult a healer, has also died and has since tested positive for Ebola, bringing the total number of probable and confirmed Ebola deaths in the flare-up to 5.
Local health authorities have reactivated the emergency coordination mechanism that was in place during the height of the Ebola epidemic in Nzérékoré, and a rapidly growing inter-agency response is in full motion. WHO has deployed dozens of epidemiologists, surveillance experts, contact tracers, vaccinators, social mobilizers, health promoters, and infection prevention and control experts to support the effort.
As of today, 816 contacts have been identified from 107 households in the immediate vicinity of the home of the confirmed and probable cases in Koropara. More than 100 of the contacts are considered high risk. Their movements to and from the area will be restricted while they are under medical observation. Vaccination teams will also begin administering the Ebola vaccine to contacts and contacts of contacts today to prevent possible spread of the disease. A door-to-door case search is planned for surrounding villages.
More than 50 contacts of the man who travelled to and died in the Macenta prefecture have been identified, and additional contact tracing and case investigation is underway.