Guinea's health authorities declared they are fighting an outbreak of Ebola on Sunday after at least three people died of the deadly disease.
Officials with the Ministry of Health of the West African nation said in a Facebook post that they counted at least seven suspected cases of the virus among participants at a nurse's funeral on Feb. 1 in the prefecture of Nzerekore, near the border of northern Liberia.
Two women and a man have since died among those cases, the ministry said, adding their Ebola-related deaths were confirmed after their samples were shipped to be checked and returned positive, Guinea's Ministry of Health said.
There were signs of diarrhea, vomiting, and bleeding in the reported cases, it said.
"In response to this situation and in accordance with the international health regulations, the Guinean government declares an outbreak of Ebola virus disease in Nzerekore Prefecture," it said.
On Sunday, a crisis meeting of the Ministry of Health was held, calling for the isolation of all suspicious cases and the investigation of cases by the central government emergency mission, among many other health initiatives to be enforced.
"The government reassures the people that all measures are being taken to stem this epidemic as soon as possible" the ministry said, calling on those in the affected area to follow hygiene and prevention measures and for anyone exhibiting symptoms to contact health authorities.
Guinea is believed to have been ground zero of the West Africa Ebola outbreak of 2014 to 2016 that saw 28,652 people sickened with the virus, including 11,325 people who died from the disease, according to the U.S. Disease Management and Prevention Centers.
In a tweet, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, World Health Organization Regional Director for Africa, said, "It's a huge concern to see the resurgence of Ebola in Guinea, a country which has already suffered so much from the disease," "However, banking on the expertise and experience built during the previous outbreak, health teams in Guinea are on the move to quickly trace the path of the virus and curb further infections."
WHO reported that workers are already in Guinea to assist local health authorities in setting up facilities for research, contract tracing, and care.
Samples of confirmed cases were also sent to the Senegalese Institut Pasteur to be genome sequenced to classify the strain of the virus, it said.
"With the epicenter of the current outbreak in a border area, WHO is already working with health authorities in Liberia and Sierra Leone to beef up community surveillance of cases in their border districts as well as strengthening their capacity to test for cases and conduct surveillance in health facilities," the WHO said.
Officials have been contacted to be on alert in Cote d'Ivoire, Mali, Senegal, and other at-risk nations, according to the U.N. Healthy body.
The declaration was made approximately one week after the Democratic Republic of Congo declared that its first case of Ebola had been identified months after the conclusion of its most recent outbreak.
Since then, at least two individuals have died from Ebola in the DRC.