The Ebola virus has plagued West Africa in the past few years and a recent death indicates the possibility of a flare-up spreading in Guinea. A total of five people have died in southeast Guinea since March 17 and an estimated 816 people who have come into contact with the Ebola victims are set to be quarantined as a precaution.
Recent Ebola Flare-Up Raises Concern
According to Fode Sylla Tass, the spokesman for National Coordination of the Fight Against Ebola in Guinea, the latest death was a man in the Macenta prefecture, which is around 200 kilometers from the Korokpara village where the four other Ebola deaths occurred. The victim visited Korokpara village recently and had contact with the other patients. His burial in Makoidou was executed without sanitary precautions.
The spokesman added that there was panic in among the Makoidou community upon learning of the Ebola-related passing of the victim.
“When the villagers realized that the test conducted by our health teams on the man were positive, they all fled into the bush,” Tass shared on Reuters.
The 816 people who were confirmed to have direct contact with the Ebola positive victims will be quarantined for 21 days in their own residences.
West Africa’s Ebola Outbreak
The panic is understandable as West Africa saw at least 11,300 deaths from the dangerous virus since 2013. It’s considered the worst Ebola outbreak on record and Guinea was among the worst-hit countries out of all those affected, recording 2,500 fatalities from the disease. This particular outbreak reportedly sprung from Guinea, where the first death was recorded back in December 2013. Liberia and Sierra Leone were similarly devastated by the epidemic as well.
Guinea had already been proclaimed as Ebola free back in December 2015, although the World Health Organization (WHO) cautioned the people of potential flare-ups in the country. The two other worst-hit countries Liberia and Sierra Leone were also afforded the same status, and WHO announced the entire West Africa region was free of active transmission of Ebola in January.
The Ebola-free status of a country is confirmed after two consecutive incubation periods lasting 21 days each wherein there are no new infections emerging within the area. Sierra Leone had a single death from the virus after the declaration in January, but was once again declared free of the virus this month.
Transmission of the Deadly Virus
The dead victims are one of the most significant modes of transmission of Ebola as traditional burial practices in the region require close contact with the corpses. Sexual transmission has also been proven as a way to transmit the disease.