Guinean authorities identify 58 contacts of Ebola sufferer


Published: 2021-08-19 16:51

Last Updated: 2024-06-22 08:53

Credit: AFP
Credit: AFP

Guinean authorities on Wednesday announced that 58 people had been confined to their homes after being identified as contacts of a woman who contracted the Ebola virus.

The Ebola case was discovered in Ivory Coast over the weekend in an 18-year-old Guinean woman who had travelled by road from Labe in Guinea, a journey of some 1,500 kilometres (930 miles).

It was Ivory Coast's first known case of the disease since 1994. Ebola is often deadly, causing severe fever and, in the worst cases, unstoppable bleeding.

It is transmitted through close contact with bodily fluids, and people who live with or care for patients are most at risk.

The discovery in Ivory Coast came nearly two months after the UN's health agency declared an end to Guinea's second outbreak of Ebola, which started last year and claimed 12 lives.

"In Labe, 58 contacts have been identified," Elhadj Mamadou Houdy Bah, the regional health director, told AFP.

"The good news is that none of them are presenting any signs (of Ebola) at the moment, all are being followed," he added.

The driver of the vehicle that transported the young Ebola sufferer to Abidjan is one of the cases identified.

As the sole centre in Labe able to handle such contact cases is currently full with coronavirus patients, the Ebola contact cases were placed under confinement at home for an observation period of 21 days, the Guinean health authorities said.

An Ebola outbreak from 2013-2016 left 11,300 people dead throughout West Africa, including 2,300 people in Guinea.

The World Health Organization (WHO) believes that this toll has been underestimated.

On Tuesday the WHO said that nine Ebola contact cases had been identified in Ivory Coast, following the case of the Guinean woman there.

She is being treated in a hospital in Abidjan, Ivory Coast's largest city, while health workers are being vaccinated against the disease.

Residents of the Abidjan district where the young Guinean woman was staying are also being vaccinated.