Ebola transmission linked to a single traditional funeral ceremony - Kissidougou, Guinea, December, 2014-January 2015

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2015 Apr 17;64(14):386-8.


On December 18, 2014, the Guinea Ministry of Health was notified by local public health authorities in Kissidougou, a prefecture in southeastern Guinea (pop. 284,000), that the number of cases of Ebola virus disease (Ebola) had increased from one case reported during December 8-14, 2014, to 62 cases reported during December 15-21. Kissidougou is one of the four Guinea prefectures (the others are Macenta, Gueckedou, and Conakry) where Ebola was first reported in West Africa in March 2014, and the mid-December increase was the largest documented by any prefecture in Guinea in a single week since the beginning of the epidemic. The Guinea Ministry of Health requested assistance from CDC and the World Health Organization to investigate the local outbreak, identify and isolate persons with suspected Ebola, assess transmission chains, and implement control measures. The investigation found that 85 confirmed Ebola cases were linked to one traditional funeral ceremony, including 62 (73%) cases reported during December 15-21. No additional cases related to this funeral ceremony were reported after January 10, 2015. After the outbreak was identified, rapid implementation of interventions limited additional Ebola virus transmission. Improved training for prompt reporting of cases, investigation, and contact tracing, and community acceptance of safe burial methods can reduce the risk for Ebola transmission in rural communities.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Disease Outbreaks*
  • Ebolavirus / isolation & purification*
  • Female
  • Funeral Rites*
  • Guinea / epidemiology
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola / epidemiology
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola / transmission*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Young Adult