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Health

Ebola spikes in Guinea and Sierra Leone

While Liberia was declared “Ebola-free” early this month, Guinea and Sierra Leone numbers quadrupled since last week. 35 cases of Ebola were reported this week between the two countries- four times as many as last week. Even though 35 might not sound like a huge number, especially compared to the hundreds of cases that occurred every week at the height of the crisis, it is still reason to take caution.

According to the UN, the World Health Organization (WHO) has sent in a response team to answer to the case increase. Workers are being deployed to the Guinea-Bissau border which is in close proximity to a number of the cases reported in neighboring Guinea.

This goes to show that we can’t turn our backs to the issue, even though it’s no longer a “crisis”. Rainy season has just started in North Africa, which can provide a number of logistical challenges to health workers, and potentially set back progress even more.

Ebola is not going to just go away on its own- it will take strategic efforts until the very end. Guinea only reported seven cases of the virus last week, which has now jumped to 27. The cause of the spike is unknown still, but WHO investigations suggest that the new cases might be traced to contact between victims at a funeral back in April. So far that’s the best bet at the source. Understanding the source of the spike is important for these investigations so that other possible cases can be identified and any further spreading of the virus can be stopped.