Guinea Runs Into Between 18 And 27 New Ebola Cases: Funeral Transmission?

Last we reported on this meta-narrative — we had good news, out of Liberia — where the outbreak is now officially over. No new cases in over 50 days, in Liberia, as of this morning.

Tonight, though, we have the sad duty of reporting a new, and likely large, re-infection in neighboring Guinea. It turns out that all the new Guinea cases (Guinea had been down to just a few active cases, prior to yesterday) share a common connection: all the sick were at the same funerals — same churches. With 27 showing symptoms, and 18 of those already confirmed as having Ebola, this is the grimmer face biology more than occasionally shows. Per Global News Network, then — a snippet:

. . . .Guinea has seen a spate of new Ebola cases due to transmissions at funerals, a worrying sign for the African nation as it seeks to stamp out a year-long epidemic that has killed over 11,000 people across the region, a health official said on Friday. . . .

“Today we have 27 sick in our treatment centres, including 18 confirmed cases,” the department’s spokesman Fode Tass Sylla told Reuters. “Yesterday alone we recorded five sick. . . .”

There is now at least a chance (in the land of looking desperately for some silver lining, in a horrific turn of events) that some of the ring-trials will reach an “n” large enough to definitively establish the efficacy of the Merck/NewLink vaccine candidate — and perhaps even the GSK one, as well. But I think all involved would much rather see the latest outbreak arrested — even if these ring studies end with too few study subjects to be statistically meaningful. Truly. Be kind to one another — look with your better eyes; act with your warmer hearts.

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