On February 14, 2021, health authorities declared a new Ebola outbreak in Guinea. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)—a key responder to the devastating 2014–2016 Ebola outbreak in West Africa—immediately mobilized a team of experienced specialists to form the core of a response team.
Ebola emergency coordinator Anja Wolz answers questions about MSF’s response to the outbreak.
How concerned are you by this new Ebola outbreak?
Anja: With all epidemic responses, it is important to be calm and focused. This is, however, Ebola, and that is always concerning. This is why we have mobilized a team of some of MSF’s most experienced Ebola specialists who will travel to Guinea as soon as the administrative and visa processes allow. We may find that this is a small outbreak—easy to control and contain—or we may find that the problem is bigger and more complex.
What needs to happen at the start of an Ebola response?
Anja: First of all, you need a clear picture of the problem. An epidemiological surveillance team, with one MSF epidemiologist included, departed February 15 for the affected areas of N'Zerekore and Gouéké, in the far south of Guinea. They have started to do the epidemiological surveillance work, but we do not yet have full clarity about what we are facing.