Ebola Outbreak Declared in Cote d’Ivoire
The Ministry of Health of Cote d’Ivoire confirmed on August 14, 2021, the country’s first case of Ebola since 1994. This patient was hospitalized in Abidjan on August 12th, after arriving from Guinea.
There is no indication that the current case in Cote d’Ivoire is linked to the earlier outbreak in Guinea. Guinea recently experienced a four-month-long Ebola outbreak, which was declared over in June 2021.
Further investigation and genomic sequencing will identify the strain and determine a connection between the two Ebola outbreaks.
“It is of immense concern that this outbreak has been declared in Abidjan, a metropolis of more than 4 million people,” said Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Africa.
The WHO is helping to coordinate cross-border Ebola response activities, and 5,000 Ebola vaccines doses which the organization helped secure to fight the outbreak in Guinea, are now being transferred to Cote d’Ivoire.
In addition, a multidisciplinary team of WHO experts covering all key response areas will be deployed rapidly to the field. They will help ramp up infection prevention and control of health facilities, diagnostics, contact tracing, treatment, and reaching out to communities to ensure they take a key role in the response.
Cote d’Ivoire declared the outbreak in line with International Health Regulations, and WHO does not advise any travel restrictions to and from the country.
While countries are focused on the COVID-19 response, they should strengthen their preparedness for potential Ebola cases, says the WHO.
Ebola is a severe, often fatal illness affecting humans and other primates. Case fatality rates have varied from 25% to 90% in past outbreaks.
As of August 14, 2021, there are various Ebola preventive vaccines available.