Liberia confirms first Ebola cases

March 31, 2014

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".

Explore further: Six suspected Ebola cases in Liberia, five dead

Related Stories

Six suspected Ebola cases in Liberia, five dead

March 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.

Four Ebola cases confirmed in Guinea's capital

March 27, 2014

An Ebola epidemic which has killed dozens of people in Guinea's southern forests has spread to the capital Conakry, health sources said on Thursday, confirming four new cases.

Guinea battles to contain Ebola as death toll rises

March 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.

Recommended for you

Monkeys in Asia harbor virus from humans, other species

November 19, 2015

When it comes to spreading viruses, bats are thought to be among the worst. Now a new study of nearly 900 nonhuman primates in Bangladesh and Cambodia shows that macaques harbor more diverse astroviruses, which can cause ...

One-step test for hepatitis C virus infection developed

November 14, 2015

UC Irvine Health researchers have developed a cost-effective one-step test that screens, detects and confirms hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections. Dr. Ke-Qin Hu, director of hepatology services, will present findings at the ...

Computer model reveals deadly route of Ebola outbreak

November 10, 2015

Using a novel statistical model, a research team led by Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health mapped the spread of the 2014-2015 Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone, providing the most detailed picture to date ...


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.