Ebola outbreak under control, says Guinea president

April 30, 2014

Guinea's Ebola outbreak is under control, but the death toll could rise above the current 74 because sick patients remain in hospital, the president said Wednesday.

"For the moment the situation is well in hand, and we touch wood that there won't be any new cases," President Alpha Conde told reporters during a visit to Geneva, home of the World Health Organization (WHO).

However he warned that with a number of people still in hospital suspected to be suffering from the , the may yet rise.

"There haven't been any new cases. But of those who remain in quarantine, there certainly will be some who will die," he said.

Working with the UN health agency and aid groups, Guinea remains on high alert against the virus, an that can kill up to 90 percent of its victims.

On Tuesday, the health ministry said that 74 people had died so far this year in one of the worst ever outbreaks of the virus, with 121 confirmed cases. A larger number of people have been diagnosed with , but not all those cases have been confirmed as Ebola.

No new cases have been recorded since Sunday, although four people are receiving treatment in the capital Conakry, and six in Gueckedou, in the south, which has seen one of the most serious outbreaks.

There is no vaccine or cure for Ebola, which can be caught from handling the blood or the bodily fluids of sick or dead forest animals.

Researchers in the United States have confirmed that the Guinea outbreak began after contact with bats caught for their meat in the country's southern forests, Conde noted.

It then spread in the hunters' communities and to health workers who initially failed to identify the risk posed by feverish patients.

To try and limit the outbreak, the government has advised Guineans to stop eating bats and avoid other "bush meat" when possible, and has also striven to apply infection-control measures by monitoring potential cases and those they have come into contact with.

The disease has spread to neighbouring Liberia, with suspected cases reported in Mali and Sierra Leone sparking fears it could spread throughout the region.

But in a sign of subsiding concerns, Senegal, which had closed its border with Guinea, reopened the frontier on Tuesday, Conde said.

The WHO has described the outbreak as one of the most challenging since the virus emerged in 1976 in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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

There is no vaccine or cure for the virus, which can easily spread among humans through contact with infected blood, bodily fluids and tissue.

Its spread can be stopped only by isolating suspected cases in ultra-clean conditions and quarantining those who have been in contact with them.

Explore further: Ebola toll rises to 74 in Guinea

Related Stories

Ebola toll rises to 74 in Guinea

April 29, 2014

Guinea said Tuesday 74 people had died so far this year in one of the worst ever outbreaks of the Ebola virus.

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.

Recommended for you

Zika virus infection alters human and viral RNA

October 20, 2016

Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine have discovered that Zika virus infection leads to modifications of both viral and human genetic material. These modifications—chemical tags known as ...

Food-poisoning bacteria may be behind Crohn's disease

October 19, 2016

People who retain a particular bacterium in their gut after a bout of food poisoning may be at an increased risk of developing Crohn's disease later in life, according to a new study led by researchers at McMaster University.

Neurodevelopmental model of Zika may provide rapid answers

October 19, 2016

A newly published study from researchers working in collaboration with the Regenerative Bioscience Center at the University of Georgia demonstrates fetal death and brain damage in early chick embryos similar to microcephaly—a ...

Scientists uncover new facets of Zika-related birth defects

October 17, 2016

In a study that could one day help eliminate the tragic birth defects caused by Zika virus, scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have elucidated how the virus attacks the brains of newborns, ...


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.