Guinea: Ebola Updates


Guinea’s health ministry reported five suspected cases of Ebola in the capital, Conakry, as the death toll from the biggest outbreak of the infectious disease in seven years increased to 66. At least 15 suspected cases of the virus were registered yesterday, including those in Conakry, the ministry said in an e-mailed statement yesterday. Authorities have been notified of a total of 103 suspected cases, and there has been one death in the capital, the ministry said. The spread to Conakry, a city of 1.6 million people, represents a “new dynamic” in the outbreak, though the situation is “extremely fluid,” Gregory Hartl, a WHO spokesman, said at a briefing in Geneva today. “Local health authorities will report any number of syndromic cases that resemble Ebola but turn out not to be, so we don’t expect all these cases to end up confirmed,” Hartl said. “On the other hand, there are probably cases out there which we don’t know of yet.” The outbreak involves the Zaire strain of Ebola, the most common and deadly of the five known varieties, with a mortality rate of as much as 90 percent. The virus is transmitted through contact with blood or bodily fluids of an infected person or animal, according to the WHO. Guinea has forbidden the sale and consumption of bats, which may serve as natural reservoirs of the virus, and warned against eating rats and monkeys in its effort to keep the illness from spreading.




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