Guinea frets as Ebola virus spreads

June 19, 2014

A second spike in Ebola virus cases has panicked residents and health officials in Guinea, who fear a west African outbreak of the killer disease may now be out of control.

"Ebola cases are worrying. We do not know what to expect," Mamady Traore, a trader in the suburbs of the capital Conakry, told AFP on Thursday. "Sometimes you are told it has been (contained) and sometimes you hear it has reappeared in other towns and villages."

According to figures released by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday, a total of 398 cases of —causing 264 deaths—have been reported in Guinea since the start of 2014. Of these, 254 were caused by Ebola.

The incurable is spread by contact with bodily fluids including sweat, meaning just touching an infected person is enough to spread the virus.

"The government can't do anything to fight the disease," taxi driver Abdoulaye Barry said of Ebola, one of the deadliest known viruses, which kills its victims by inducing unstoppable internal bleeding.

The latest outbreak began in southeast Guinea and spread rapidly through neighbouring Liberia and Sierra Leone. Cases have recently surfaced in Guinea's west and southeast—areas previously thought to be free of the disease.

"We're faced with a second spike in the epidemic," Marie-Christine Ferir, a worker for aid agency Doctors Without Borders, told AFP. "What is unusual is the spreading of outbreak locations. It complicates things."

In Thursday in Conakry, there was no discernable presence of medical staff around key buildings. An AFP correspondent said however that sanitising hand gels were offered to customers at the entrances of banks and insurance companies.

A total of 528 haemorrhagic fever cases have been reported throughout west Africa in 2014, inflicting 337 deaths. Almost 70 percent were caused by Ebola, which can induce severe fever and muscle pain, as well as vomiting, diarrhoea and organ failure.

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.

Second person dies from Ebola virus in Sierra Leone

May 28, 2014

Sierra Leone Wednesday confirmed a second death from the Ebola virus, as the WHO warned of possible further contagion as others sick with the haemorrhagic fever had been moved out of isolation and back to their village.

West Africa Ebola death toll hits 337: WHO

June 18, 2014

The death toll in west Africa's three-nation Ebola outbreak has risen to 337, the World Health Organisation said Wednesday, making it the deadliest ever outbreak of the haemorrhagic fever.

Recommended for you

Experimental MERS vaccine shows promise in animal studies

July 28, 2015

A two-step regimen of experimental vaccines against Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) prompted immune responses in mice and rhesus macaques, report National Institutes of Health scientists who designed the vaccines. ...

Can social isolation fuel epidemics?

July 21, 2015

Conventional wisdom has it that the more people stay within their own social groups and avoid others, the less likely it is small disease outbreaks turn into full-blown epidemics. But the conventional wisdom is wrong, according ...

Lack of knowledge on animal disease leaves humans at risk

July 20, 2015

Researchers from the University of Sydney have painted the most detailed picture to date of major infectious diseases shared between wildlife and livestock, and found a huge gap in knowledge about diseases which could spread ...

IBD genetically similar in Europeans and non-Europeans

July 20, 2015

The first genetic study of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) to include individuals from diverse populations has shown that the regions of the genome underlying the disease are consistent around the world. This study, conducted ...

0 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.