Guinea Receives Vital Ebola Vaccines After Dust Storm Delay

Dr Sakoba Keïta, left, director of the National Agency of Health Security and Guinea's Health Minister Général Remy Lamah, right, announced the confirmation of the first case of Ebola in Guinea's Forestière on February 14, 2021.

Health officials are heading directly to Guinea's southeast region on Tuesday, after a special plane with 11,000 doses of Ebola vaccine landed late Monday night.

The vaccines were originally slated to leave for Guinea on Saturday, but delays due to a dust storm prevented the plane from landing.

Health officials are racing against time in order to get a number of the vaccines to the southeastern region that borders Liberia, Sierra Leone and Cote d'Ivoire after a new Ebola outbreak was declared one week ago Sunday around Nzerekore, in the Forestier region.

Five people have died since the first case was declared.

A number of cases were also found in Conakry, and inoculations will also begin there.

The first case was a nurse, and those who care for patients afflicted with Ebola are more at risk. It can also be transmitted through close contact with bodily fluids.

#Ebola vaccines sent by @WHO arrive in N'Zerekore, #Guinea🇬🇳. WHO teams are on-ground supporting the quick rollout of the vaccination campaign amoung people at high risk of the virus. pic.twitter.com/cH2lrI1g1B - - WHO African Region (@WHOAFRO) February 23, 2021

In a number of burial traditions on the African continent, the bereaved touch the dead, which has been cited as a method of transmission if that person died of Ebola.

The often-deadly hemorrhagic fever swept through West Africa from 2013 to 2016, killing 11,300 people, including in Guinea.

Some 8,700 doses are due to arrive from the United States on Wednesday.

There is also an Ebola outbreak in the Butembo area of the North Kivu region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, and a vaccine campaign has already begun there.

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