Cote d'Ivoire/ECOWAS: Ebola outbreak in Guinea, threat to regional security - ECOWAS

Yamoussoukro, Cote d'Ivoire (PANA) - The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has called for a regional response to the Ebola hemorrhagic fever which broke out in one of its member states, Guinea, and is threatening others, calling the outbreak ''a serious threat to regional security.”

ECOWAS ministers made the call in the communique they issued after their meeting in Yamoussoukro, Cote d'Ivoire, preparatory to the ECOWAS Summit which started off here Friday.

They authorised the ECOWAS Commission to take appropriate action in collaboration with the relevant health institutions in the region to mobilise stakeholders and resources to stem the spread of epidemic.

According to ECOWAS, the outbreak has claimed over 60 lives, mostly in Guinea but also in Sierra Leone.

The ministers expressed “deep concern” over the outbreak and expressed sympathy and solidarity with the affected member states and the bereaved families. They also appealed for international assistance in the management and control of the epidemic.

A statement by the World Health Organisation (WHO) said Guinea's Ministry of Health (MoH) has notified the global health body of a rapidly evolving outbreak of Ebola hemorrhagic fever in forested areas in south eastern Guinea.

PANA reports that the Ebola virus causes severe Ebola Virus disease (EVD) outbreaks in humans. Ebola Virus disease outbreaks have a case fatality rate of up to 90%.

The outbreaks of the disease occur primarily in remote villages in Central and West Africa, near tropical rain forests, where the
virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission.

Fruit bats are considered to be the natural host of the Ebola virus, for which there is no treatment or vaccine for either people or animals.

WHO defines EVD is a severe acute viral illness often characterised by the sudden onset of fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat.

This is followed by vomiting, diarrhoea, rash, impaired kidney and liver function, and in some cases, both internal and external bleeding.
-0- PANA SEG 28March2014

28 march 2014 17:17:18

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