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Russia contributed to defeating Ebola epidemic in Guinea, watchdog says

In the five years that Russia has been cooperating with Guinea, a research center and up-to-date laboratory network was set up

MOSCOW, August 22. /TASS/. Russian experts have made a significant contribution to the fight against the Ebola fever epidemic in Guinea, Russia’s consumer watchdog said in a statement on Thursday.

"Although the Ebola fever epidemic has been successfully eradicated, the watchdog’s lab modules remain operational and ready to diagnose the most dangerous epidemics. The watchdog’s experts have developed several vaccine options for the disease caused by the Ebola virus and Lassa fever, as well as divalent vaccines against Ebola fever and the Marburg virus disease," the statement reads.

In the five years that the Russian consumer watchdog has been cooperating with Guinea, the Russian-Guinean Research Center for Epidemiology and Prevention of Infectious Diseases was set up in the African country, an up-to-date laboratory network was established and over 20 training courses were held that improved the skills of over 800 Guinean medical and veterinary workers and researchers. "Russia was one of the first countries to join the global effort to develop a strategy to combat the Ebola fever epidemic," the statement quoted the watchdog’s chief Anna Popova as saying.

According to the watchdog, since Russia began collaborating with Guinea, scientists have developed 18 new diagnostic agents that make it possible to detect infectious agents. "Our goal is to protect people from infectious diseases and epidemics. Russia has made a significant contribution to the development of the sanitary and epidemiological service in West Africa. Good results have already been achieved and there are prospects for strengthening national response and biosecurity systems," Popova pointed out.

The Ebola virus was first discovered in a settlement located on the banks of the Ebola River in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) in 1976. The disease spreads quickly bringing high mortality. The latest Ebola epidemic broke out in Guinea in 2013 and later engulfed Sierra Leone, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria and Senegal. Ebola cases were also reported in Spain, the United Kingdom, Italy and the United States. According to the World Health Organization, more than 28,500 people were infected and over 11,000 died.