Guinea's Ebola epidemic unprecedented

2014-03-31 22:03
A 43 year old Congolese patient, who has been confirmed to have Ebola hemorrhagic fever, following laboratory tests, is comforted by a Medecins Sans Frontieres Doctor. (Christopher Black, HO, AP, WHO, File)

A 43 year old Congolese patient, who has been confirmed to have Ebola hemorrhagic fever, following laboratory tests, is comforted by a Medecins Sans Frontieres Doctor. (Christopher Black, HO, AP, WHO, File)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Conakry - Guinea faces an Ebola epidemic on an unprecedented scale as it battles to contain confirmed cases now scattered across several locations that are far apart, medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres said on Monday.

The warning from an organisation used to tackling Ebola in Central Africa comes after Guinea's president appealed for calm as the number of deaths linked to an outbreak on the border with Liberia and Sierra Leone hit 80.

The outbreak of one of the world's most lethal infectious diseases has spooked a number of governments with weak health systems, prompting Senegal to close its border with Guinea and other neighbours to restrict travel and cross-border exchanges.

Figures released overnight by Guinea's health ministry showed that there had been 78 deaths from 122 cases of suspected Ebola since January, up from 70. Of these, there were 22 laboratory confirmed cases of Ebola, the ministry said.

"We are facing an epidemic of a magnitude never before seen in terms of the distribution of cases in the country," said Mariano Lugli, coordinator of MSF's project in Conakry.

The organisation said it had been involved in nearly all other recent Ebola outbreaks, mostly in remote parts of central African nations, but Guinea is now fighting to contain the disease in numerous locations, some of which are hundreds of kilometres apart.

"This geographical spread is worrisome because it will greatly complicate the tasks of the organisations working to control the epidemic," Lugli added.

The outbreak of Ebola - which has a fatality rate of up to 90% - has centred around Guinea's southeast. But it took authorities six weeks to identify the disease, allowing it to spread over borders and to more populated areas.

Appeal for calm

Cases were last week confirmed in Conakry, bringing the disease - previously limited to remote, lightly-populated areas - to a sprawling seaside capital of two million people.

Guinea's President Alpa Conde late on Sunday appealed for calm. "My government and I are very worried about this epidemic," he said, ordering Guineans to take strict precautions to avoid the further spread of the disease.

"I also call on people not to give in to panic or believe the rumours that are fuelling people's fears," he added.

Liberia has recorded a total of seven suspected and confirmed cases, including four deaths, the World Health Organisation said. Sierra Leone has reported 5 suspected cases, none of which have been confirmed yet.

Brima Kargbo, Sierra Leone's chief medical officer, said a screening process had been introduced on the country's northern border with Guinea. Travellers are being asked where they are coming from and whether they or anyone they had been in contact with had fallen ill, he said.

Senegal, another neighbour of Guinea's, closed its land border over the weekend and has suspended weekly markets near the border to prevent the spread of the disease.

Regional airline Gambia Bird delayed the launch of services to Conakry, due to start on Sunday, because of the outbreak.

If the deaths are all confirmed as Ebola, a disease that leads to vomiting, diarrhoea and external bleeding, it would be the most deadly epidemic since 187 people died in Luebo, in Congo's Kasai Orientale province, in 2007.


Read more on:    guinea  |  health  |  west africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
7 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Sport

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Senior PPC Analyst

Cape Town CBD
Iocore Global Resourcing SA
R400 000 - R500 000 Per Month

Conveyancing Secretary

Cape Town CBD
DBS Human Capital

SHEQ Officer

Western Cape
Pyramid Personnel
R25 000 Per Month

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Today is a good day to let go of expectations and just see where the wind takes you. You are in the mood to make the most of any...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.