West Africa is Facing Three Outbreaks of Infectious Diseases at the Same Time
The World Health Organization has warned that on top of the COVID-19 pandemic, West Africa is facing new outbreaks of the viral haemorrhagic fevers Marburg and Ebola, risking huge strains on ill-equipped health systems. The new outbreaks show the multitude of challenges governments are fighting in parallel with the pandemic, Matshidiso Moeti, WHO regional director for Africa, told a news conference on Thursday. Ivory Coast began vaccinating health workers against Ebola in the commercial capital Abidjan on Monday after a case of the deadly virus was confirmed over the weekend. The country on Saturday declared its first case of Ebola since 1994. Authorities said it was an isolated case of an 18-year-old girl who travelled from neighbouring Guinea. Last week, health authorities in Guinea confirmed one death from Marburg, which is similar to Ebola. Separately, Ivory Coast has identified an outbreak of the highly pathogenic H5N1 avian flu near the commercial capital Abidjan and has taken steps to curb its spread, the government said on Thursday.