The 2021 Ebola virus outbreak in Guinea: Mistrust and the shortcomings of outbreak surveillance

PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
(Accessed 26 Jun 2021)


The 2021 Ebola virus outbreak in Guinea: Mistrust and the shortcomings of outbreak surveillance
Manuel Raab, Emmanuelle Roth, Vinh-Kim Nguyen, Guenter Froeschl
| published 24 Jun 2021 PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases
In February 2021, an outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) was declared in the N’Zérékoré prefecture, located in the southeastern area of Guinea known as “Forest Guinea” [1]. This region is where the 2013 to 2016 West African epidemic—the largest Ebola epidemic to date—started. In the aftermath, Forest Guinea gained the status of a high-risk region for EVD and other viral haemorrhagic fevers [2]. Consequently, outbreak surveillance and preparedness planning have focused on preparing for a recurrence, such as the 2021 resurgence of Ebola.
Surveillance efforts aim for rapid containment through early detection, specific treatments, and an efficient vaccine. In fact, efforts deployed in the region appear to have detected the current resurgence within a time frame of somewhat less than 1 month. Local communities view the current response through the lens of the earlier outbreak and the preparedness efforts that followed. The response to the 2013 to 2016 epidemic in Forest Guinea was characterised by deep mistrust and violence. In its aftermath, preparedness efforts have been met with scepticism in the population, including healthcare workers, with regard to the ability of the public health system being able to manage future outbreaks effectively…