Latest WHO Report On Ebola Is Cause for Alarm: Unsafe Local Burial Practices In Guinea Have Started Another Round of Ebola Infections

Ebola may not be much in the news these days but it doesn’t mean that the virus i dying a silent death. Several new cases are reported to have come up last week. This is according to the World Health Organization. The encouraging development for several weeks has been spoiled by this latest rise of new incidents.

Aid workers suspect that bad local practices contributed a lot to the rise especially in Guinea. This makes it difficult to contain the Ebola virus infection according to the WHO.

“An unsafe burial that took place in early January in the (Guinean) eastern prefecture of Lola, on the border with Côte d’Ivoire, has so far resulted in an outbreak of 11 confirmed cases,” it said. Investigators had been initially rebuffed by the local population, it added.

The practice of lying hands on their departed, a local custom, to say goodbye has infected a lot of mourners in the past. These cadavers are highly contagious and infection is inevitable.

The WHO in a released report last week confirmed the new cases amounted to 99 people ending January 25. This is the lowest in record since June 2014. The main concern right now is the possibility of another round of massive infection once more.

The new number of cases for the week ending February 1, have shown an increase in infections in all three Western African nations hardest hit in the 2014 outbreak.

The numbers may not be high but it might signal a new round of massive infection. Sierra Leone once more has the highest number at 80, Guinea accounted for 39 and Liberia contributed only five out of 124 cases.

Aid workers reported that in approximately a third or Guinea’s 34 prefectures there showed at least one security breach and some of the residents there are refusing to cooperate with them last week.

The natives are showing signs of apprehension with the presence of aid workers looking like spacemen in their protective suits while doing their tasks.

A planned meeting between officials from Guinea, Mali and Senegal is scheduled to enforce disease surveillance, the WHO reported. There’s a rapid response team present in the border location shared with Ivory Coast, it revealed.

There is an urgent task ahead the WHO said, before the rainy the rainy seasons, which is fast approaching. This will be in the months April and May. It is during this time that some roads are impassable making it very difficult for aid workers to travel and do their jobs.

Overall, 8,981 people have died of Ebola out of 22,495 in nine countries since the epidemic started in December 2013, the agency reported.

 

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