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Ebola rears its head in Guinea for first time since 2016

The announcement today marks the first known resurgence of the virus in West Africa since the 2013-2016 epidemic that began in Guinea and left more than 11,300 dead across the region, according to France 24.

The head of Guinea’s health agency, Sakoba Keita said, “Very early this morning, the Conakry laboratory confirmed the presence of the Ebola virus.” Keita added that there were seven confirmed cases and three deaths.

“Faced with this situation and in accordance with international health regulations, the Guinean government declares an Ebola epidemic,” the ministry said in a statement. The World Health Organization (WHO) was notified.

All seven patients fell ill after attending a funeral in Goueke sub-prefecture. Those still alive have been isolated in treatment centers, the health ministry said. It is not certain if the person buried on February 1 had Ebola. She was a nurse at a local health center who died of an unspecified illness after being transferred for treatment from Nzerekore, a city near the border with Liberia and the Ivory Coast, reports Reuters.

Guinea’s Ebola outbreak comes one week after eastern Congo confirmed it also had cases. The Democratic Republic of Congo reported on February 7 the death of a woman near the city of Butembo nearly three months after the end of an outbreak in the western province of Équateur, which killed 55.

However, according to Reuters, the DRC reported a fourth new case of Ebola in North Kivu province today.

The resurgence of Ebola comes at a time when healthcare systems in many countries are already being strained by the coronavirus pandemic. Guinea, a country of around 12 million, has so far recorded 14,895 coronavirus infections and 84 deaths. The country has already asked the WHO for vaccines against the Ebola virus.

“WHO is ramping up readiness & response efforts to this potential resurgence of #Ebola in West Africa, a region which suffered so much from Ebola in 2014,” the WHO’s Regional Director for Africa Matshidiso Moeti said on Twitter.

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We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of our dear friend Karen Graham, who served as Editor-at-Large at Digital Journal. She was 78 years old. Karen's view of what is happening in our world was colored by her love of history and how the past influences events taking place today. Her belief in humankind's part in the care of the planet and our environment has led her to focus on the need for action in dealing with climate change. It was said by Geoffrey C. Ward, "Journalism is merely history's first draft." Everyone who writes about what is happening today is indeed, writing a small part of our history.

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