Following the announcement of eight confirmed cases of ebola in the capital Conarky, the aid agency Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF), says Guinea is facing an unprecedented outbreak of the deadly virus.
It is the pattern of spread – affecting some locations that are hundreds of kilometers apart – that has prompted this statement, as Mariano Lugli, coordinator of MSF’s project in Conakry, explains:
“We are facing an epidemic of a magnitude never before seen in terms of the distribution of cases in the country: Gueckedou, Macenta Kissidougou, Nzerekore, and now Conakry.”
The news comes as the World Health Organization (WHO) distributes 3.5 tons of protective material to health facilities in different parts of the West African country.
The equipment, which includes materials for single-use personal protection, disinfection and secure burial, is to help health workers deal with a virus that kills 9 out of 10 people it infects, and for which there is no treatment or vaccine, meaning the only way to stop it spreading is through prevention.