Ebola has resurfaced and claimed another life in its latest epidemic flare-up in Guinea, wherein four people have died since Feb. 29. Adding to the death toll is a girl, whose family have also shown symptoms of the disease before dying.
They are from Koropara, a village south of Nzérékoré, where an Ebola treatment unit has been re-opened.
“The young girl who was hospitalized at the Ebola treatment center in Nzérékoré is dead,” said Fode Tass Sylla, spokesperson of the center coordinating with the Guinea’s fight against the virus.
In December 2015, almost 2,500 died from Guinea alone, in what is considered the world’s worst Ebola epidemic record. It is also when the World Health Organization declared that the virus transmission ended, which means that 42 days has passed since the last person confirmed to have it had tested negative for the second time.
It is still not clear how these villagers contracted the disease, but they are now under the heightened efforts of aid agencies to contain the outbreak. Previously, people from Koropara resisted efforts to fight the spread of the illness and the epidemic.
WHO and experts warned people of the re-emergence of the Ebola virus, as it can linger in the eyes, central nervous system, and body fluids of survivors. It has already sent experts to identify, isolate, contain, vaccinate and monitor victims.
Aid agencies and health worker are also stepping up their efforts to locate people who have come in contact with the victim, as well as their family members.
“There has been a very professional and experienced response across the board,” said Augustin Augier of Alliance for International Medical Action. “We are doing all we can to be ready to receive more cases,” he added, noting that the treatment units will get more help as additional staff are being flown in from Paris.
The Ebola virus infected about 28,500 and claimed more than 11,300 lives in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia since 2013.
Photo credit: A mother and her children make palm oil in Meliandou, a village in southeast Guinea believed to be the location of the first known case of Ebola in the West Africa Ebola outbreak. Picture taken February 4, 2015. REUTERS/Misha Hussain