New cases of the Ebola virus are now suspected in the West African nation of Guinea, according to the country’s health minister.
The latest report from Agence France Presse put a death toll there at four people, noting these are the first cases of Ebola in Guinea since 2016. Local reports put the death toll at three, with a small cluster of cases emerging in the community of Gouécké in the country’s south. Gouécké and nearby hub Nzérékoré are not far from the borders with Liberia and Côte d’Ivoire.
Health minister Rémy Lamah said at least one patient was taken to Conakry for treatment rather than kept in isolation in Nongo, a cause for concern as officials wait for a second set of results to confirm the Ebola infections.
Lamah promised a more comprehensive statement when those tests, which are in progress, are available.
At least two of the cases were confirmed by initial lab results, according to hospital employees speaking with local reporters.
The early reports from Guinea come as officials in the Democratic Republic of Congo announced a third case of a reemerging Ebola virus outbreak in the country’s volatile east.
The World Health Organization said this case was confirmed in Katwa, just a few kilometers east of Butembo and the first new case reported earlier this week. The new cases have emerged since Congolese officials declared an end to Ebola in June, after an outbreak that claimed 2,300 lives, many of them in Katwa and Butembo.
Image: World Health Organization file