According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “drastic action” is needed to contain the spread of deadly Ebola in West Africa.
Nearly 400 people have died in the Ebola outbreak which started in Guinea and has spread to neighboring Sierra Leone and Liberia.
It is the largest outbreak in terms of cases, deaths and geographical spread.
The WHO said it was “gravely concerned” and there was potential for “further international spread”.
Nearly 400 people have died in the Ebola outbreak which started in Guinea and has spread to neighboring Sierra Leone and Liberia
The Ebola outbreak started four months ago and is continuing to spread.
So far there have been more than 600 cases and around 60% of those infected with the virus have died.
Ebola, a hemorrhagic fever, has no cure and is spread by contact with the fluids of infected people or animals, such as urine, sweat and blood.
Most of the deaths have been centered in the southern Guekedou region of Guinea.
The WHO has sent 150 experts to the region to help prevent the spread of the virus but admits “there has been significant increase in the number of daily reported cases and deaths”.
Dr. Luis Sambo, the WHO’s regional director for Africa, said: “This is no longer a country-specific outbreak, but a sub-regional crisis that requires firm action.
“WHO is gravely concerned of the on-going cross-border transmission into neighboring countries as well as the potential for further international spread.
“There is an urgent need to intensify response efforts…this is the only way that the outbreak will be effectively addressed.”
The charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) has already warned that the Ebola outbreak is out of control.
Ebola virus disease (EVD):
- Symptoms include high fever, bleeding and central nervous system damage
- Fatality rate can reach 90%
- Incubation period is two to 21 days
- There is no vaccine or cure
- Supportive care such as rehydrating patients who have diarrhea and vomiting can help recovery
- Fruit bats are considered to be the natural host of the virus [youtube 2l9ung-07qU 650]
The number of deaths from the Ebola virus in Guinea has passed 100, the UN World Health Organization (WHO) says.
It was “one of the most challenging Ebola outbreaks we have ever dealt with” and could take another four months to contain, the WHO said.
The Ebola virus had now killed 101 people in Guinea and 10 in Liberia, it said.
Ebola is spread by close contact and kills between 25% and 90% of its victims.
Many West African states have porous borders, and people travel frequently between countries.
Southern Guinea is at the epicenter of the outbreak, with the first case reported last month.
The geographical spread of the outbreak is continuing to make it particularly challenging to contain – past outbreaks have involved much smaller areas.
The number of deaths from the Ebola virus in Guinea has passed 100 (photo Getty Images)
“We fully expect to be engaged in this outbreak for the next two to three to four months before we are comfortable that we are through it,” Keija Fukuda, WHO’s assistant director-general, said at a news briefing in Geneva, Reuters news agency reports.
The WHO said 157 suspected cases had been recorded in Guinea, including 20 in the capital, Conakry.
Sixty-seven of the cases have been confirmed as Ebola, it added.
In neighboring Liberia, 21 cases had been reported, with five confirmed as Ebola, the WHO said.
Mali had reported 9 suspected cases, but medical tests done so far showed that two of them did not have Ebola, it said.
Last week, Mali said it was on high alert because of fears of an outbreak of the tropical virus and it would tighten border controls.
Saudi Arabia has suspended visas for Muslim pilgrims from Guinea and Liberia, in a sign of the growing unease about the outbreak.
This is the first known outbreak in Guinea – most recent cases have been thousands of miles away in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda.
There is no known cure or vaccine for Ebola.
Ebola leads to haemorrhagic fever, causing muscle pain, weakness, vomiting, diarrhoea and, in severe cases, organ failure and unstoppable bleeding.
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Guinea government officials say the Ebola virus has been identified as the cause of an outbreak of hemorraghic fever now believed to have killed nearly 60 people in the country.
Dozens of cases have been recorded since the outbreak began early last month.
There is no known cure or vaccine for the highly contagious Ebola virus.
Ebola is spread by close personal contact with people who are infected and kills between 25% and 90% of victims.
Ebola virus has been identified as the cause of a deadly outbreak of hemorraghic fever in Guinea
The World Health Organization (WHO) says outbreaks of Ebola occur primarly in remote villages in Central and West Africa, near tropical rainforests,.
“We got the first results from Lyon yesterday [Friday] which informed us of the presence of the Ebola virus as the cause of this outbreak,” Sakoba Keita, chief disease prevention officer at the Guinean health ministry, told AFP.
“The Ebola fever epidemic raging in southern Guinea since February 9 has left at least 59 dead out of 80 cases identified by our services on the ground,” he said.
“We are overwhelmed in the field, we are fighting against this epidemic with all the means we have at our disposal with the help of our partners but it is difficult.”
Medical aid charity Medecins sans Frontieres said on Saturday it would strengthen its team in Guinea and fly some 33 tonnes of drugs and isolation equipment in from Belgium and France.
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