SKULD: Ebola virus: Update March 2016


On 16 March 2016 Guinean health officials alerted the WHO and partners to three unexplained deaths in recent weeks, all from the same family,

after having reports of other members of the same family currently showing symptoms characteristic of EVD.

On 17 March 2016, the same day that WHO had declared the end of the latest Ebola flare-up in neighbouring Sierra Leone, confirmation of two new cases of Ebola in Koropara, a rural village in the southern prefecture of Guinea.

Samples were taken from four individuals of the family. A mother and her 8 year old daughter who were relatives of the deceased, confirmed positive for EVD in lab tests. The two individuals were taken to a treatment facility after which the daughter later succumbed to the disease, whilst the mother is reported to be seriously ill.

Also, a high-risk contact, a man who travelled to the neighbouring prefecture of Macenta to consult a healer has also died and has since tested positive for Ebola, bringing the total number of probable and confirmed Ebola deaths in the flare-up to five.

In co-ordination with Guinea's Ministry of Health, the WHO have deployed response teams to investigate the origin of the new infection and to identify, isolate, vaccinate and monitor all contacts of the new cases.

On 22 March 2016 the WHO reported that local health authorities have reactivated the emergency coordination mechanism that was in place during the height of the Ebola epidemic.

816 contacts have been identified from the 107 households in the immediate vicinity off the home of the confirmed and probable cases in Koropara. More than 100 of the contacts are considered high risk.

More than 50 contacts of the latest victim, and additional contact tracing and case investigation is underway. Infection and disease control measures, including a public awareness campaign and other health promotion and community engagement activities, are being stepped up in all affected areas.

Initial tests of the samples from the confirmed cases and some high-risk contacts indicate that the cases stem from known transmission chains and are not an introduction of the virus from the animal population.

The latest Ebola Situation Report report from the WHO states that the total number of cases stands at 28,639, including 11,316 deaths (as of 13 March 2016).

Countries with initial cases or cases with no active transmission:

    Guinea (WHO confirms new case of EVD on 17 March 2016)
    Sierra Leone (WHO declared Sierra Leone to be free of Ebola on 17 March 2016)
    Liberia (WHO declared Liberia to be free of Ebola on 14 January 2016)
    Mali (WHO declared Mali to be free of Ebola on 18 January 2015)
    Nigeria (WHO declared Nigeria to be free of Ebola on 20 October 2014)
    Senegal (WHO declared Senegal to be free of Ebola on 17 October 2014)
    Democratic Republic of Congo (Not related to West Africa EVD outbreak. The Government of the DRC and WHO declared the Ebola outbreak over on 15 November 2014)
    Italy (WHO declared Italy to be free of Ebola on 20 July 2015)
    Spain (WHO declared free of Ebola on 2 December 2014)
    United Kingdom


Tags: casualties ebola virus

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