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Guinea Reopens Ebola Clinic After Virus Resurfaces

by Shirley Johanna on March 19, 2016 at 2:30 PM
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Guinea Reopens Ebola Clinic After Virus Resurfaces

Ebola clinic has been reopened in rural southern Guinea to treat an infected woman and her child after two of their relatives succumbed to the virus.

The Alliance For International Medical Action (ALIMA) said the pair were receiving treatment following positive tests for Ebola on Thursday, adding the patients came from a village 100 kilometers (62 miles) from Guinea's second city of Nzerekore.

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"We hope that this new episode will be rapidly contained because today the authorities and communities are well versed in the appropriate measures to fight the disease," said Richard Kojan, a Conakry-based doctor for ALIMA.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said Friday Guinean health officials had alerted it to Ebola symptoms in the family's village on March 16, where three people had died in unexplained circumstances in the last few weeks.
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The child being treated was a boy aged five, the WHO said.

An expert team was dispatched to conduct tests after the two new diagnoses, and a larger WHO deployment was en route.

"More specialists are expected to arrive in the coming days. Response teams will work to investigate the origin of the new infections and to identify, isolate, vaccinate and monitor all contacts of the new cases and those who died," the world health body said in a statement.

The Guinean government said a quarantined area around the family's home would be established, and announced a door-to-door search for other potential Ebola cases in the district.

The village is in the same region where the first Ebola case of the current outbreak was registered in December 2013.

A source close to the local anti-Ebola coordination team said that the two deceased relatives were a married couple who had both shown symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea.

On March 17, the world health body was already warning that a recurrence of the deadly tropical disease -- which has claimed 11,300 lives since December 2013 -- remained a possibility.

The four confirmed cases are the first in Guinea since the country was declared free of Ebola transmission at the end of last year, though a significant number of deaths are believed to have gone unreported.

The WHO refers to these isolated cases as "flare-ups" but maintains the original "chains of transmission" have been stopped in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The Guinea diagnoses came the same day the WHO declared a similar flare-up over in Sierra Leone, announcing there had been no new cases for 42 days -- the length of two Ebola incubation cycles.

Source: AFP
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