(Abidjan) An Ebola case was found in the Ivorian economic capital Abidjan, the first since 1994, almost two months after the end of the epidemic in neighboring Guinea was announced in 2021, according to the WHO. is “extremely worrying”.
Posted on Aug 14, 2021 at 7:17 pm
Stéphane BARBIER Agence France-Presse
The Ivorian health authorities “were informed today (Saturday) by the Pasteur Institute of a positive case of Ebola virus disease after a sample taken on Friday was examined by a young girl of 18 years of Guinean nationality,” said Minister Pierre Demba on national television RTI.
He stated that this young woman had left the city of Labé in Guinea by road and “arrived in Côte d’Ivoire on August 11th”.
“This is an isolated and imported case,” he said, adding that the patient is “currently in isolation and at the highly infectious disease treatment center at Treichville University Hospital” in Abidjan.
According to the minister, Côte d’Ivoire has vaccines against Ebola and “will vaccinate target groups, health workers on the front lines, patient contact persons, security guards at our borders”.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said in a statement that “5,000 doses of Ebola vaccine,” procured “to fight the epidemic in Guinea,” will be sent to Côte d’Ivoire.
An inter-ministerial emergency meeting was held in Abidjan late on Saturday afternoon, chaired by the Ivorian Prime Minister Patrick Achi.
The measures taken include reactivating the monitoring and response system for the Ebola virus that was set up in Guinea during the last epidemic, organizing “the follow-up of all identified contacts, strict observance of those against the COVID-19, those for the Ebola virus -Disease still valid ”and“ intensive cross-border cooperation with Guinea ”.
“The government is reassuring the population and inviting them to calm down,” said Demba. “Every precaution is being taken to counter this situation. The sanitary facility to combat the disease exists and has been successfully tested in the past.”
Although Côte d’Ivoire borders on Guinea and Liberia, which were badly affected by Ebola between 2014 and 2016, this “country has had no confirmed cases of Ebola since 1994, the year a scientist became infected during a chimpanzee epidemic. Virus disease registered ”. , ‘according to WHO.
“Death rate of 25 to 90%”
“It is extremely worrying that this epidemic was declared in Abidjan, a metropolis of over four million people,” said Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa.
“However, most of the world’s expertise in the fight against Ebola virus disease resides here on the continent, and Côte d’Ivoire can use this experience to accelerate the response,” he said.
Guinea and the WHO officially announced the end of the second Ebola epidemic in this country on June 19, a few months after the recurrence of the disease, which, thanks to the experience gained in 2013-2016, was quickly defeated with thousands of deaths.
Between late 2013 and 2016, the world’s worst epidemic since the virus was identified in 1976 killed more than 11,300 people, mainly in Guinea (2,500 dead), Liberia and Sierra Leone, three of the poorest countries in the world. An undervalued balance according to the WHO’s own information.
In 2021, a total of 16 confirmed cases and seven probable cases were identified during this latest epidemic in Guinea. According to the WHO, eleven patients survived and twelve died.
Following the declaration of the end of the Ebola epidemic, Guinea was due to enter a phase of enhanced epidemiological surveillance for three months.
“There is nothing to suggest that the case discovered in Côte d’Ivoire is related to the recent epidemic outbreak that hit Guinea,” estimates the WHO. “Further research and genome sequencing will identify the strain of the virus and see if there is a link.”
Ebola is an often fatal viral disease that affects humans and other primates. “Mortality rates have fluctuated between 25% and 90% during previous epidemics,” said the WHO, which notes that “however, there is effective treatment now and when patients are cared for in the early stages of the disease together”. with supportive care, their chances of survival improve significantly.