A rise in Ebola cases on the border of Sierra Leone and Guinea has sparked fears that efforts to rid the countries of the
deadly virus are “back to square one”.
The spike in infections comes weeks after the World Health Organisation reported a 10-month low, with just nine cases in both countries in the week ending 10 May. In its latest situation report , the WHO said “both the intensity and the geographical area of Ebola virus disease transmission
“It feels like we are back to square one. The world has moved on, but it is still a very real problem here. With Liberia Ebola free, we thought we were not far behind, but that isn’t the case,” said a spokesman.
“Guinea is a problem and as long as Guinea has Ebola, Sierra Leone will continue to struggle.The border is meaningless, with
families straddling both countries,” he added.
The Red Cross in Guinea told the Guardian there were 16 new cases in the past week in six prefectures, four of them on the
border with Sierra Leone. In Sierra Leone, there have been cases in Kambia, the coastal district bordering Guinea, Port
Loko, a district to the south, and Freetown. A spokesman for the charity said in the last two months the virus had moved from the country’s forested areas to lower Guinea for the first time, with communities expressing the fear and denial seen during the 18-month battle against Ebola elsewhere in the region.
There have also been several reported incidents of violence directed at field staff during the last week, the WHO has said.