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Nigeria On Red Alert As New Ebola Virus Outbreak Declared In Guinea

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Following the announcement of a new Ebola virus outbreak that has been declared in Goueke community in N'Zerekore prefecture of Guinea by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Federal Government has said it is closely monitoring diseases of public health concern while observing the outbreak in Guinea. The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire during the daily press briefing on COVID-19 said "Nigeria’s Port Health Services have been put on alert on land, sea and air borders and all major hospitals have also been put on notice to alert health workers to have a keen index of suspicion and to check patient travel history, especially at Outpatient Departments, and report concerns to infectious disease focal persons and the state epidemiologists without hesitation.

"Stricter infection prevention and control measures, including personal protective measures, must be taken immediately there is reason to suspect.

"Nigeria is willing to send experienced volunteers from our Centres of Excellence on viral haemorrhagic fever, to support WHO measures to contain Ebola resurgence in our West African subregion. It is important to protect the subregion from the catastrophic burden of dealing with two severe diseases of public health concern.

"We shall work with the West Africa Health Organisation and WHO on strategies to bring this outbreak under control and shall provide regular updates on preparedness, containment and response measures in due course.”

The WHO Africa, in a statement, noted the three confirmed cases of Ebola virus by the National laboratory, making it the first time the disease has been confirmed and reported in Guinea since the 2016 outbreak.

"Initial investigations found that a nurse from the local health facility died on 28 January 2021. Following her burial, six people who attended the funeral reported Ebola-like symptoms and two of them have died, while the other four have been hospitalized," WHO said.

During the 2014-2016 West Africa Ebola, Guinea was among the countries most affected by the disease since the emergence of the virus in 1976.

Meanwhile, the global health body has said it is working with health authorities in Liberia and Sierra Leone to intensify surveillance and contact tracing in border areas in a bid to enable testing.