MALABO, Oct 30, 2009 (AFP) - Heavy rain deluged a city in Equatorial Guinea, killing a woman with an electric shock as water surged through a street criss-crossed by electric cables, national radio reported Friday. The woman died Wednesday in Bata, the economic capital of the west African country, radio said. Storms caused widespread damage and paralysed the city centre for several hours, the radio reported.
At least 10 children have died in various hospitals in Equatorial Guinea as a result of a measles epidemic declared in the country 2 weeks ago, according to EFE [News Agency] sources confirmed today [10 Nov 2008] by the Health Ministry. Although an official of the Ministry of Health and Welfare declined to give details, medical sources contacted by EFE said the epidemic is affecting hundreds of children up to 9 years [of age] in several districts of the mainland and in Malabo, capital of the country.
Reports of the NGO 'Family Care' claim that one in 6 children born in this sub-Saharan country, which was a Spanish colony until 1968, dies before reaching 2 years, because health [services] in rural communities are limited to small first-aid clinics with minimal material.
The last known outbreak of measles in the country occurred in April 2001, when more than 100 children lost their lives because in Equatorial Guinea basic concepts of hygiene and disease prevention are still poorly understood or misinterpreted by a large portion of the population.
Date: Mon 31 Dec 2007 From: Dan David --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Rabies was diagnosed in a 5-year-old boy from the Republic of Equatorial Guinea. The boy had been bitten in his neck by a stray dog 5 weeks before. He received treatment against tetanus but not rabies post-exposure prophylaxis. On 17 Dec 2007, the boy complained of a headache, general pain, and weakness. The day after, the boy refused to eat and drink, and showed incoordination. On 19 Dec 2007, the boy was hospitalized in the Israeli medical center "La Paz" in Bata city, with symptoms of encephalitis and hydrophobia. Rabies was suspected. On 21 Dec 2007, cerebrospinal fluid, saliva, and a skin biopsy were collected and sent to the Rabies Laboratory at the Kimron Veterinary Institute, Bet Dagan, Israel. Heminested RT-PCR [reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction] detected rabies virus [RNA] in saliva and skin biopsy. Molecular analysis of the PCR product showed 99 percent identity with canine rabies virus sequences from this region (Gabon). Rabies virus isolation in tissue culture and in suckling mice is ongoing. --------------------- Dan David, DVM, PhD Head, Rabies Laboratory Derech Hamacabim street, Kimron Veterinary Institute Bet Dagan 50250 Israel [Currently the World Health Organisation (WHO) 'Essential Rabies Maps' () contains no information on the incidence of rabies in Equatorial Guinea. Nonetheless it is likely that rabies is widespread in canids throughout West Africa in view of the close sequence similarity of the Equatorial Guinea sequences to the genome of a rabies virus isolated in the neighboring country of Gabon. The rapid diagnostic response of the Kimron Institute and wide dissemination of the information are welcomed. While little can be done now to aid the patient, the diagnosis should alert the healthcare authorities in the Republic of Equatorial Guinea to the need for immediate provision of post-exposure prophylaxis for persons bitten by stray dogs or wild canids, combined where feasible, with vaccination of domestic and feral dogs. The HealthMap/ProMED-mail interactive map of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea is available at - ProMed Mod.CP]
Date: Tue 26 Apr 2005 From: ProMED-mail Source: Afrique Centrale, Sat 23 Apr 2005 [trans. from French Mod.MPP; edited] --------------------------------------------------- The Minister of Health of Equatorial Guinea announced an "urgent alert" on Friday [22 Apr 2005?] for the general population of the country following the death of a man presenting with the symptoms of Ebola haemorragic fever in Bata, the 2nd largest city of the continental part of the country, according to a report on Sat 23 Apr 2005 on national radio. "Any patient with a very high fever and hemorrhaging from mouth, ears, nose and eyes, must be taken immediately to the nearest health centre" declared the Minister in a communique read on the national radio. The local heath authorities recommended also that: "Deceased individuals with the above symptoms should be buried immediately" in order to prevent spread of this virus [infection], which is fatal in the majority of cases. The text stated also warned against: "Handling a cadaver for washing or dressing, (....) and to avoid eating meat from monkeys or animals found dead in the forest." Bata, the economic capital, is situated in the continental part of Equatorial Guinea, bordering Gabon, a country that has had [outbreaks] of Ebola [fever] several times in previous years. Precautionary measures have been taken in several other central African countries, including Gabon, to prevent transmission of Marburg hemorrhagic fever, [which is caused by a virus] closely related to Ebola virus, and which, since October 2004, has been affecting Angola, where more than 240 persons have died [as a result of Marburg fever]. --------------------------- [The Afrique Central report reproduced above indicates that so far there has been no confirmation of the diagnosis of Ebola hemorrhagic fever. Other possibilities, such as yellow fever -- which has been active in the area -- have yet to be excluded. Further information is awaited. - ProMed Mods.MPP/CP] ======================= Date: Thu 28 Apr 2005 From: Irene Lai Training Exercise Responsible for Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever Alert ---------------------------------------------------- This report is apparently a miscommunication. There is no outbreak of Ebola haemorrhagic fever in Equatorial Guinea. I have received this information from a colleague in Equatorial Guinea. "Maybe you heard about an Ebola Case in Bata (Equatorial Guinea); they talked about it during the week-end on Radio France Internationale. According to a WHO representative, what really happened was that a training exercise was held to update medical workers on haemorrhagic fevers. Evidently some people thought that there really was an outbreak of Ebola!" ----------------------- Irene Lai International SOS [ProMED-mail appreciates this rapid response from Irene Lai which cancels the alert and allays fears of a new outbreak of haemorrhagic fever in west Africa. - Mod.CP]
Date: Sat, 19 Mar 2005 18:23:54 +0100 (MET) MALABO, March 19 (AFP) - Trucks removed huge heaps of refuse from the streets of Malabo Saturday in response to a clean-up call by the Equatorial Guinea authorities in a bid to beat a cholera epidemic. But the trucks and bulldozers requisitioned from private companies left other massive piles untouched, while local residents half-heartedly swept the pavements, often stopping to chat or watch others. Most however ignored the drive launched with whistle-blasts by community officials at six o'clock in the morning in response to the order of the health ministry. A ministry statement issued Tuesday said that "everyone in Malabo, old and young, employees of the public and private sector, traders and the population in general is required to participate in a great operation against the city refuse." During the operation, scheduled to last from 6:00 am (0500 GMT) until 10:00 am (0900 GMT), the inhabitants of the city should clean their homes, businesses, the streets and the pavements. "Vehicles of all types will be banned from the streets to enable all the residents to work," the ministry said, blaming the high level of insalubrity in the city of more than 150,000 for the cholera which has killed at least 30 people out of more than 4,400 infected since February, according to a World Health Organisation estimate. Most of Equatorial Guinea's citizens live in poor conditions despite a recent oil boom whose riches have failed to trickle down from the ruling elite.