Two bodies tested positive for Ebola in Guinea, the government said on Thursday, months after the outbreak was declared over in the West African country and hours after Sierra Leone announced the end of the recent flare-up of the virus there.
The cases emerged from the same family out of Koropara, in the N’Zerekore prefecture, about 1 000km southeast of Guinea’s capital, Conakry, said Ibrahima Sylla, a spokesperson for the national coordination for the fight against Ebola. Sylla said there are three other probable cases, and health authorities are taking appropriate measures to contain the spread.
An emergency meeting will be held on Friday with the Ministry of Health, said Dr Sakoba Keita, the national coordinator of the fight against Ebola.
Earlier on Thursday, the deputy director general of the N’Zerekore Regional Hospital, Dr Zoba Guilavogui, said a man and woman from the same family died of an illness like Ebola, but tests were pending.
Guinea was declared free from Ebola on December 29. It would be celebrating the end of its 90-day heightened surveillance period at the end of March.
The deadliest Ebola outbreak in history has killed more than 11 300 people, mostly in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.
The World Health Organization declared the outbreak over January 14 when Liberia became the last of the three countries to have ended transmissions. The next day, however, a corpse tested positive for Ebola in Sierra Leone, which saw a flare-up of another case.
WHO and Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Health and Sanitation announced the end of that Ebola flare-up Thursday. The declaration came 42 days – two 21-day incubation cycles of the virus – since the last confirmed Ebola patient tested negative for a second time.
Despite gains, experts warn flare-ups are likely.