Tuesday 29 December 2015

Congratulations to Guinea for defeating its Ebola virus disease epidemic!

After a very long and painful battle with many, many losses, Guinea has stopped the Ebola virus epidemic that began there in December 2013; two years ago.[1]

From Guinea, the Makona variant of a Zaire ebolavirus spread to and throughout Liberia and Sierra Leone. For Liberia, the wait for its third declaration of freedom from any new acute human cases, must continue until 14 January.[2] Two weeks and a bit. 

Sierra Leone has remained free any human cases since early November.[3]

My family and I were out having lunch when the clock ticked over and my 10-year old boy (10M) said "Dad, no-one at any of these other tables will know how good it is to hear this news". My family has talked a lot about Ebola virus and Ebola virus disease in the past year and a half. And we've all learned a lot by talking and sharing and generally communicating. We've also been frequently reminded of all that we have. But 10M was likely very right. 

From http://virologydownunder.blogspot.com.au/2014/07/ebola-virus-disease-evd-2014-west.html
For those of us that have been watching this tragedy unfold from the sidelines since the numbers started rolling out 23 March 2014, much more so for those citizens of Guinea and Liberia and Sierra Leone who have lived and died through this, for those who went to their aid, for those who facilitated that aid and for those in countries all around the world who received and treated cases - we are happy today in a way we have not been for nearly two years. Longer for some who were involved in caring for and trying to understand and diagnose the disease in the suspected index case, a small child from Meliandou village, Guéckédou in Guinea who became ill 26 December 2013. 

While cases and clusters may yet flare up in Guinea and elsewhere in West Africa there remain many thousands of survivors who are still suffering the consequences of infection and of viral persistence.

Good luck Guinea on your 90-day period of vigilance - and beyond. You have earned some dancing!


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