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Ebola: Guinea Health Agency head declares a 'pandemic'
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Ebola symptoms including diarrhoea, vomiting and fever affected a number of victims who attended a nurse’s funeral. The last epidemic which occurred between 2013-2016 killed 11,323 people mainly in Guinea and neighbours Sierre Leone and Liberia. Four people are currently in isolation as the country receives help from governments and NGOs around the world.
Sakoba Keita, head of Guinea’s Health Agency, confirmed the presence of Ebola in seven cases but feared there may be many more.
Mr Keita revealed one isolating patient escaped and was quickly found before they were put back into hospital.
It is believed the origin of this outbreak can be traced to a funeral after attendees reported Ebola symptoms.
It is not yet confirmed how the disease spread at the funeral but dead bodies can act as a disease vector.
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It is unknown if the nurse had Ebola.
Ebola is spread through bodily fluids like blood or faeces meaning those who work in medicine are extremely vulnerable.
The UK’s only recorded case of Ebola was from an aid worker who visited Guinea to provide care.
The worker survived but had to return and isolate in hospital several times due to health complications caused by the disease.
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World Health Organisation (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the UN health agency had been informed of two suspected cases of the deadly disease in Guinea.
The WHO is now supporting Guinea in testing.
Dr Yuma Taido of IFRC Epidemics and Pandemics Preparedness said: “The response team are prepared to go to the epicentre of the outbreak from today.
“And a lot of partners, government partners, and NGOs, according to their profile and the speciality, they are providing support to the Minister of Health.
“These include WHO, IFRC, MSF, ALMIA, CDC, and USAID.”
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It is believed the disease has a much higher fatality rate than COVID-19, with many dying from organ failure or dehydration.
According to the World Health Organisation, Ebola has a 50 percent death rate but has mainly hit African nations who have issues with healthcare.
The disease did not spread rapidly outside of Guinea and its neighbours but cases were found in the US and UK during the last wave of the epidemic.
An Ebola vaccine has been in production since the original outbreak in 2015 and has been proven to improve survival rates.
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