Pandemic II? 8 Dead, Villages On Lockdown Due To Unidentified Fever-Causing Illness In Equatorial Guinea

According to local officials, Equatorial Guinea is investigating an epidemic of an unexplained ailment that causes hemorrhagic fever and has killed at least eight people. Two villages have been placed under lockdown.

The outbreak was discovered on Tuesday, according to the health ministry in the central African country, and it affected persons who attended a funeral ceremony in Kie-Ntem province, which borders Cameroon and Gabon.

The number of victims was said to be variable. The health minister of Equatorial Guinea verified at least eight deaths, but another official put the figure at ten, and Cameroon’s health ministry claimed as many as twenty.

The indications of the “unidentified illness” included nasal bleeds, fever, joint discomfort, and other maladies that resulted in death within a few hours, according to Ngu Fankam Roland, the district’s chief of health.

The African nation has quarantined more than 200 people, who are showing no symptoms so far, and restricted movement, Health Minister Mitoha Ondo’o Ayekaba said on Friday as the government races to test samples.

“We are trying to quickly as possible rule out the known hemorrhagic fevers we know in the region such as Lassa or Ebola,” Ayekaba said.

Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea’s neighbor, also limited movement along the shared border on Friday following “unexplained deaths,” said country’s Health Minister Malachie Manaouda in a statement.

Manaouda noted that investigations are ongoing and epidemiological surveillance has been reinforced with the assistance of experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Atlanta Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to a WHO spokesperson, the agency is supporting the testing of samples to determine what caused the deaths, and results should be available within days.

The news also follows health experts from Europe and the US directing their attention to the growing spread of the bird flu, as concerns grow that the virus could potentially mutate and spread to humans, potentially breaking into a possible pandemic.

The development in Equatorial Guinea draws some parallel characteristics from how the COVID-19 pandemic started in Wuhan, China. The earliest patients reported symptoms from an “unexplained pneumonia” that wouldn’t respond to standard treatments and would later be identified as caused by the novel coronavirus.

Equatorial Guinea recently removed its 13-month curfew to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and boosted the number of international flights permitted. However, the government maintained certain restrictive measures, such as the wearing of masks.

In comparison to other African countries, and notably other continents, this state has escaped the pandemic largely unscathed. Only 17,212 positive cases and 183 deaths have been officially reported in two years on a population of roughly 1.5 million people.

Based on the last update, 20% of the population have at least 1 dose of a COVID-19 vaccine while 16% are fully vaccinated.

Information for this briefing was found via Reuters and the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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