Two Ebola cases spring up in Guinea

Oct 16, 2015, 4:58 PM EDT
Image of the Ebola virus. Getty Images
Image of the Ebola virus. Getty Images

After weeks of no new Ebola cases across West Africa, two new cases have cropped up in Guinea, dashing international hopes that the virus had been completely eradicated from the region. Medical professionals have warned against preemptive cheering, saying that more measures need to be taken in West Africa to insure against the return of the virus. Reuters reports:

Guinea was weeks away from joining Liberia in being declared free of the virus that has killed more than 11,000 people in a near 2-year rampage. Neighbouring Sierra Leone is also halfway through the 42-day countdown to being Ebola-free.
 
Authorities in Guinea said one of the cases, in Forecariah, western Guinea, appeared to be linked to a previously known chain of infection, while the other in the capital Conakry appeared to be new.
 
"On the bumpy road we keep talking about - the high risk of recurrence - once again we are navigating a few bumps," WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris told a briefing in Geneva
 
"Of course we didn't want it, but we did expect it. Guinea hadn't got to the stage where we were looking at 42 days."
 
 
Though the numbers show we’ve reached a turning point in the Ebola outbreak, the threat of the virus is far from gone.
 
A nurse from Scotland is fighting for her life a second time after her Ebola infection apparently relapsed. And two new studies published Monday in TheNew England Journal of Medicine highlight a rare but real risk of men who've recovered spreading the disease through sex months after a blood test doesn't turn up signs of the virus.
 
The first study looks at a man who survived the disease and apparently passed it to his female partner more than 6 months after he recovered. A second study found traces of the virus in the semen of about 25% of tested male survivors at least 9 months after the onset of symptoms.

 

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