Ebola outbreak in Guinea: All you need to know about Ebola virus disease
Guinea declared the latest Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak as an “epidemic”. This announcement came after seven cases of the viral infection and four related deaths were confirmed on Sunday.
The country’s national laboratory gave the confirmation which marked the first known resurgence in West Africa since an outbreak ended in 2016. The earlier outbreak had claimed more than 11,300 lives and it began in the same southeastern region where new cases have been found.
The World Health Organization regional director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, said, “It’s a huge concern to see the resurgence of Ebola in Guinea, a country which has already suffered so much from the disease.”
He also told that inorder to bring the overall response to full speed; the UN health agency is supporting the authorities in Guinea by helping them set up testing, contact-tracing and treatment.
About Ebola Virus Disease
Ebola virus disease or EVD is a deadly disease caused by a virus. It has 5 strains and 4 of them can make people sick. Formerly, known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever, the virus causes an acute, serious illness which is often fatal if untreated. This virus enters the body and kills the cells, which can even make some of the cells explode. It destroys the immune system of the body which leads to internal bleeding and damages every organ of the body. The findings from the laboratory of Ebola patients include low white blood cell and platelet counts.
Modes of transmission
Ebola virus infects a person through close contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected animals such as chimpanzees, gorillas, monkeys, forest antelope or porcupines.
The virus then spreads from human to human via direct contact with infected blood and body fluids. The urine, saliva, sweat, faeces, vomit, breast milk, or semen of an infected person can spread the virus to another person.
Symptoms of Ebola Virus Disease
The initial symptoms of the Ebola Virus Disease include:-
Both internal and external bleeding (for example, oozing from the gums, or blood in the stools).
The symptoms may appear from 2 to 21 days after the person gets infected with the virus.
In December 2019, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the injectable single-dose Ebola vaccine rVSV-ZEBOV. The vaccine was manufactured by Merck, Sharp & Dohme (MSD) Corp. with financial support from the US government.
The vaccine is now prequalified by the WHO and licensed in eight African countries.
To ensure outbreak response, on January 12, 2021, the four leading international health and humanitarian organisations announced the establishment of a global Ebola vaccine stockpile. The stockpile is stored in Switzerland and ready to be shipped to countries for emergency response.
The recovery of the patient depends on good supportive clinical care and the patient’s immune response.