Liberia confirms first Ebola cases

Liberia has confirmed two cases of the deadly Ebola virus that is suspected to have killed at least 78 people in neighbouring Guinea, according to the World Health Organization.

The WHO said in a statement released on Sunday the cases were among seven samples tested from the northern Foya district, which shares a border with southern Guinea.

"Two of those samples have tested positive for the Ebola virus. There have been two deaths among the suspected cases, a 35-year-old woman who died on March 21 tested positive for Ebola virus while a male patient who died on March 27 tested negative," it said.

Ebola has killed almost 1,600 people since it was first observed in 1976 in what is now Democratic Republic of Congo but this is the first fatal outbreak in west Africa.

The tropical virus leads to haemorrhagic fever, causing muscle pain, weakness, vomiting, diarrhoea and, in severe cases, organ failure and unstoppable bleeding.

Guinea's health ministry said on Sunday that 122 "suspicious cases" of viral , including 78 deaths, had been registered.

Samples taken from a number of the suspect cases include 24 that tested positive for Ebola, according to the latest official figures—11 in Conakry and the rest in the south.

The WHO said Sierra Leone has also identified two suspected , both of whom died, but neither has been confirmed to be Ebola.

No treatment or vaccine is available for Ebola, and the Zaire strain detected in Guinea has a historic death rate of up to 90 percent.

It can be transmitted to humans from wild animals, and between humans through direct contact with another's blood, faeces or sweat, as well as sexual contact or the unprotected handling of contaminated corpses.

The WHO said in the statement, seen by AFP reporters in Dakar, it was not recommending travel or trade restrictions to Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone based on the current information available about the outbreak.

But Senegal has closed border crossings to Guinea "until further notice".

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Guinea battles to contain Ebola as death toll rises

Mar 31, 2014

Guinea's President Alpha Conde warned Sunday of a "health emergency" as authorities raced to contain a spiralling Ebola epidemic which has killed 78 people and prompted neighbouring Senegal to close its border.

Six suspected Ebola cases in Liberia, five dead

Mar 24, 2014

Five patients have died in Liberia of suspected Ebola fever, the government said on Monday, as neighbouring Guinea battled an outbreak of the virus which has killed dozens.

Recommended for you

Can robots help stop the Ebola outbreak?

1 hour ago

The US military has enlisted a new germ-killing weapon in the fight against Ebola—a four-wheeled robot that can disinfect a room in minutes with pulses of ultraviolet light.

New bird flu case in Germany

2 hours ago

A worrying new strain of bird flu has been observed for the first time in a wild bird in northern Germany, the agriculture ministry said Saturday.

Mali announces new Ebola case

Nov 22, 2014

Mali announced Saturday a new case of Ebola in a man who is fighting for his life in an intensive care unit in the capital Bamako.

Plague outbreak kills 40 in Madagascar: WHO

Nov 22, 2014

An outbreak of plague has killed 40 people in Madagascar, the World Health Organization said, warning that the disease could spread rapidly in the country's densely populated capital Antananarivo.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.