Ebola virus disease outbreak in Guinea, 2021
On 14 February 2021, national authorities declared an Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in the rural area of Gouéké in Nzérékoré region, Guinea. As of 18 February 2021, seven EVD cases (three confirmed and four probable) have been identified, including five deaths.
On 14 February 2021, national authorities declared an Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in the rural area of Gouéké in Nzérékoré region, Guinea. As of 18 February 2021, seven EVD cases (three confirmed and four probable) have been identified, including five deaths. The first case died on 28 January 2021. Response measures have been initiated and the World Health Organization is supporting the country to procure EVD vaccine doses, as well as therapeutics, reagents and personal protective equipment. Neighbouring countries have initiated response plans. So far, no neighbouring countries have reported confirmed cases.
These are the first EVD cases reported in Guinea since the large outbreak that occurred in West Africa between 2013 and 2016. This ongoing outbreak may increase in size and spread to other areas within Guinea and/or to neighbouring countries.
Overall, the current risk for European Union/European Economic Area (EU/EEA) citizens living in or travelling to affected areas in Guinea is considered low, as while disease in unvaccinated people is severe and most EU/EEA citizens are not commonly vaccinated against the disease there is a very low likelihood of infection of EU/EEA citizens in Guinea. The current risk for citizens in the EU/EEA is considered very low, as the likelihood of introduction and secondary transmission within the EU/EEA is very low.
Options for response
EU/EEA visitors and residents in Guinea should apply the following precautionary measures:
- Avoid contact with symptomatic patients/their bodily fluids, and bodies and/or bodily fluids from deceased patients;
- Avoid the consumption of bush meat and contact with wild animals, both alive and dead;
- Wash and peel fruit and vegetables before consumption;
- Wash hands regularly using soap or antiseptics;
- Ensure safe sexual practices.
Significant developments for the prevention of EVD have been made, with two vaccines (Ervebo and Zabdeno/Mvabea) now licensed for use in several countries, including in the EU. Guinea has approved the Ervebo vaccine.
Screening of travellers returning from Guinea is not justified at this stage.