First Ebola hemorrhagic fever outbreak reported in Guinea

The World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa announced on Sunday that it received notification from the Ministry of Health of Guinea that an Ebola hemorrhagic fever outbreak began in southeastern Guinea.

As of March 22, there have been 49 confirmed cases of Ebola hemorrhagic fever, including 29 deaths. The case fatality ratio is currently at 59 percent and additional suspected cases in the bordering areas of Liberia and Sierra Leone are under investigation as well.

This marks the first outbreak of Ebola hemorrhagic fever outbreak in Guinea. Through PCR testing, researchers at the Institut Pasteur in Lyon, France, confirmed the outbreak was caused by Ebola hemorrhagic fever. Further investigation is underway, as initial sequencing showed a part of the L gene to have strong homology with Zaire Ebolavirus.

The Ministry and WHO are working together to gain control of the outbreak. The Ministry recommended the public take precautions against contracting the disease and report any suspected cases. It also began collaborating with district-wide and national emergency management organizations to neutralize the threat.

The WHO and its partners are supporting the ministry by providing supplies and logistical support to help manage patient treatment and prevention. The outbreak is reported to be rapidly evolving.

The WHO does not recommend any trade or travel restrictions to Guinea at this time.