DAKAR, Senegal (AP) —
Guinea has declared an end to an Ebola outbreak that emerged in February and killed 12 people, according to the World Health Organization.
The latest outbreak was the first to emerge in Guinea since a deadly outbreak from 2014 to 2016 killed more than 11,300 people in West Africa. That originated in the same region before spreading to neighboring Liberia and Sierra Leone.
Guinea’s latest outbreak was declared Feb. 14 after three cases were detected in Gouecke, a rural community in the southern N’zerekore prefecture. There were 16 confirmed and seven probable cases.
“I commend the affected communities, the government and people of Guinea, health workers, partners and everyone else whose dedicated efforts made it possible to contain this Ebola outbreak,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General.
“Based on the lessons learned from the 2014–16 outbreak and through rapid, coordinated response efforts, community engagement, effective public health measures and the equitable use of vaccines, Guinea managed to control the outbreak and prevent its spread beyond its borders.” The U.N. said it will continue to provide post-illness care.
WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti also said that lessons learned from the past outbreak meant that Guinea managed to contain the virus in only four months. But, she warned that vigilance must remain.
“We are getting faster, better and smarter at fighting Ebola. But while this outbreak is over, we must stay alert for a possible resurgence and ensure the expertise in Ebola expands to other health threats such as COVID-19.”