Three more people in Guinea have been infected with the Ebola virus, a senior health official said on Thursday, further dampening hopes of an imminent end to the world’s worst recorded outbreak of the disease.
Fode Sylla, spokesman for the national centre for the fight against Ebola, made this known to newsmen in Conakry.
“The three were infected in Forecariah in western Guinea from the family of a woman who died of Ebola and whose body was handled without appropriate protection.
“In all, nine sick people are being treated at our centres throughout the country and most of them are connected to the dead woman,’’ Sylla said.
He added that the authorities had known of the three fresh cases since Saturday.
The epidemic began when a 2-year-old boy fell ill in a remote Guinean village on Dec. 26, 2013, and risked dragging into a third year and into 2016.
According to UN, WHO figures it has killed around 11,300 people out of around 28,500 known cases in Guinea and neighbouring Liberia and Sierra Leone.
“Liberia was declared free of Ebola transmission on Sept. 3 after 42 days with no new cases, while Sierra Leone will be declared Ebola free on Nov. 7 if there is no new transmission,’’ the WHO said.
The 42-day countdown only starts once the last patient tested negative a second time, normally after a 48-hour gap following their first negative test.