At least three people have died from Ebola in Guinea, the first cases declared since it was one of three West African nations to fight the world’s deadliest Ebola epidemic that ended five years ago.
Three people have died and five who are sick in Gueckedou town in the country’s south, tested positive for Ebola, according to government officials.
“I confirm it’s Ebola. The results prove it,” Minister of Health Remy Lamah said.
The patients were tested for Ebola after showing symptoms of hemorrhagic fever. Those who came in contact with the sick are already in isolation, said officials.
Guinea’s announcement comes one week after eastern Congo confirmed it also had cases. The cases are not linked.
Health experts in Guinea say these latest cases could be a major setback for the impoverished nation, already battling Covid-19 and which is still recovering from the previous Ebola outbreak, which killed 2,500 in Guinea where it began.
More than 11,300 people died in that outbreak which also hit the neighboring countries of Liberia and Sierra Leone between 2014 and 2016.
The new cases announced Sunday are in the Nzerekore region, the same place where the previous one started. The origin of the infections is still unknown.
Health experts hope that the availability of an Ebola vaccine will help to quickly control this outbreak. Ebola is transmitted through direct contact with bodily fluids from someone showing Ebola symptoms, or from corpses who were positive.