Health authorities in Guinea have declared an outbreak of Ebola after seven people were confirmed to be infected with the disease at the weekend.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Office for Africa, three out of the seven infected have died.
Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, in a statement on Monday, said this is the first time the disease has been reported in the country since the deadly 2014-2016 outbreak in West Africa, which claimed over 11,000 lives.
Moeti noted that it is a huge concern to see the resurgence of Ebola in Guinea, a country that has already suffered so much from the disease,”
Banking on the expertise and experience built during the previous outbreak, health teams in Guinea are on the move to quickly trace the path of the virus and curb further infections.
According to the UN health agency, the cases, which were confirmed by the national laboratory, occurred in Gouéké in N’Zerekore prefecture, in Southern Guinea.
Initial investigations found that a nurse from a local health facility died on January the 28th.
Following her burial, six people who attended the funeral reported Ebola-like symptoms and two of them have died. The other four are currently in hospital.
Samples of the confirmed cases have been sent to the InstitutPasteur Centre in Senegal for full genome sequencing, to identify the strain of the Ebola virus.
Guinea was one of the three most-affected countries in the 2014-2016 West Africa Ebola outbreak, which was the largest since the virus was first discovered in 1976.
The outbreak, which saw some 28,000 cases, including 11,000 deaths, started in Guinea and moved across land borders to Sierra Leone and Liberia.
According to the statement, WHO staff are already on the ground, assisting surveillance, and infection prevention and control efforts.
WHO personnel are also reaching out to communities to ensure they take a key role in the response.
The agency is also helping Guinea procure the Ebola vaccine which has proven instrumental in controlling outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
As the epicentre of the current outbreak in a border area, it stated that WHO was also working with health authorities in Liberia and Sierra Leone.
WHO is also reaching out to Cote d’Ivoire, Mali, Senegal and other countries at risk in the region.
Ebola virus disease (EVD) is a rare but severe, often fatal illness in humans. The average EVD case fatality rate is about 50 per cent, with rates having varied from 25 per cent to 90 per cent in past outbreaks.