Blunder or lesson? –

By Damien Glez

Diagnosed ill, then cured, the Guinean patient who hit the headlines throughout the month of August has probably never contracted this hemorrhagic fever. Back on a runaway.

If the “world after” ccovid-19 was a predictable chimera, the health sections are very real, and have expanded to the point of blistering in the columns of the media as on the forums of social networks. In the freak show of microbes and other parasites, the new Marburg virus, in West Africa, or the classic polio, that the governments of the African region of the World Organization were invited to take in the middle of the summer. of Health (WHO) recently committed to eradicate. And no need to feature with the coronavirus for the pandemic superstar: ebola …

” State of emergency “
Psychosis of psychosis since the deployment – even relative – of anti-HIV, the spectacular hemorrhagic fever was announced in Abidjan on August 14th. The Institut Pasteur de Côte d’Ivoire then claimed to have detected ebola in an 18-year-old Guinean patient from the city of Labé. Precautionary principle ? If Guinea will express doubts about the Ivorian clinical diagnosis, WHO will quickly qualify this “positive” case as “extremely worrying” and 5,000 doses of vaccine will be immediately dispatched from neighboring Guinea for administration to cases. contacts identified.

The doubts of each other will not prevent the involuntary storytelling from taking place until its happy end, with great reinforcements of statements from the Ivorian Ministry of Health. On August 24, after two negative tests 48 hours apart, the Guinean patient was declared cured of the Ebola virus.


Worried at the idea of ​​passing for a repellent area in the eyes of tourists, Guinea will continue to cast doubts on the whole case, calling for arbitration from the WHO. Which closed the case last Tuesday: for the organization often accused of alarmism in Africa, and according to new negative analyzes carried out by the Bio-Mérieux laboratory in Lyon, there is “no proof” of the presence of ebola virus in Côte d’Ivoire. The “response level” has been downgraded to “alert state”.

Panic and stigma
Everyone sees panic at their door and many quotation marks in the reports should protect the Ivorian authorities from accusations of malicious intent. Brandishing precautions commensurate with past Liberian and Sierra Leonean epidemics, the spokesperson for the Ministry of Health confirmed that the patient had “all the symptoms” of Ebola virus disease which, moreover, can take ” several forms “. The health authorities also evoke a diagnostic process which, if it was perceived as approximate or peremptory, “made it possible to test the national system of response to an epidemic”.

While some express doubts about the very course of the young girl and evoke possible errors made by the first laboratories, the Guinean and Ivorian authorities wished to apologize to the young woman and would consider reparations for her family, victim of stigmatization. .

Beyond a quarrel with speckled diplomatic foils, the apparent recovery of the Guinean leaves an open question: if the patient did not suffer from Ebola, what was she suffering from?

Posted in Jeune-Afrique


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