WHO says Ebola outbreak in Guinea is officially over

The Ebola outbreak that appeared in the West African nation Guinea back in February is officially over, according to the World Health Organization and the Republic of Guinea Ministry of Health. The outbreak occurred in the N'Zérékoré Prefecture where the previous 2014 to 2016 Ebola outbreak happened. A total of 16 cases resulted from this recent outbreak.

The Guinea outbreak was officially announced on February 14, 2021. According to the Centers for Disease Control, it is believed this outbreak may have resulted from a "persistent infection" that impacted one particular survivor of the 2014 to 2016 West Africa Ebola outbreak.

Officials believe the Ebola infection may have been spread from the survivor, resulting in the fairly short-lived outbreak while underscoring the need to explore these persistent infections and how to better manage these patients. The World Health Organization credits a 'swift response' during the early part of the latest outbreak with addressing the infections.

Officials say that surveillance in Guinea for new possible Ebola cases remains and that data learned from previous outbreaks have contributed toward improved responses. Thousands of Ebola vaccine doses were distributed in the region for high-risk individuals, including frontline workers.

The outbreak was declared over on June 19, according to WHO, which reports that the 16 confirmed Ebola cases were joined by another seven 'probable' cases with a total of 12 deaths among them. Guinea is now home to a lab dedicated to Ebola, as well as a number of prevention methods to squash any new cases, infrastructure for treating Ebola in the case of a new outbreak, and more.