At least nine people have died in Guinea following an Ebola outbreak.
The outbreak, which is the first since 2016, is believed to have been triggered by a “persistent” human source, the WHO said today.
It is believed that at least 18 people have been infected so far Daily star.
The human source may have contracted the virus during the last outbreak, which started in 2013 and lasted three years.
Guinea confirmed an Ebola outbreak in February 2021 after being free from hemorrhagic fever for five years.
The cases are the first to be confirmed after the recent outbreak in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia killed 11,000 people, the worst outbreak in history.
Top World Health Organization leaders have expressed concern after the virus remained “notable” for so long, prompting further research.
Speaking at a news conference on Friday March 12th, WHO chief emergency officer Doctor Mike Ryan said, “This (outbreak) is unlikely to be due to genetic sequencing associated with a fresh zoonotic reservoir and much more likely with a persistence. ” or latency of infection in a human.
“As far as we currently understand, we are not dealing with a breach of the species barrier.”
He urged those who survived Ebola not to panic and said that “more studies will be needed”.
Dr. Ryan added, “Let me say that again: the vast majority of people who have survived Ebola have the virus removed from their systems and they will recover within six months.
“An even smaller fraction of people may be carrying the virus, they are not contagious to other people except in very specific circumstances, and a tiny fraction of them can relapse and get sick again.”
At the same press conference, Doctor Bruce Alyward, a senior official with the World Health Organization, said, “The biggest mistake we could make would be to reach conclusions about what this means for the outbreak and its development.”
Ebola, one of the deadliest viruses known to man, can be transmitted to humans from bats or monkeys.
The virus can survive in or on parts of the body of survivors who are now in good health, such as the eyes, testicles, and breasts, and can also be transmitted through sperm.
Shortly after the news broke, Dr. Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at the Georgetown Center for Global Health Science and Safety, on her Twitter page: “This is really shocking to me scientifically too … I have no idea how this happens mechanistically and it just shows how much we do still need to learn about Ebola. ”
She added that the world “needs to step up our efforts to provide Ebola vaccines to people in affected communities, including survivors,” but noted that vaccines are limited.
Three thousand people have currently been vaccinated in Guinea, with the World Health Organization giving a total of 30,000 doses.