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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

3/28/2014 (6 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Outbreak was previously restricted to rural areas

At least 63 deaths in the West African nation of Guinea has been linked to the deadly Ebola virus.  Now - the outbreak has spread to the capital of Conkary, after incubating in isolated rural areas. There are growing concerns that the outbreak could now lead to regional instability.

Ebola was first detected in Guinea in early February. It took health authorities nearly six weeks to identify it, allowing the virus to spread. Ebola has an incubation period of up to three weeks.

Ebola was first detected in Guinea in early February. It took health authorities nearly six weeks to identify it, allowing the virus to spread. Ebola has an incubation period of up to three weeks.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

3/28/2014 (6 months ago)

Published in Africa

Keywords: Guinea, Ebola, outbreak, medical infrastructure


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Guinean Health Minister Remy Lamah says that four cases of the hemorrhagic fever have been confirmed in the capital and the victims had been placed in quarantine.

Conakry, a city of two million people, marked an escalation in the outbreak in Guinea. The West African nation is among the poorest nations on earth in spite of rich deposits of bauxite and iron ore which attract international mining companies.

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The outbreak is spreading to neighboring nations. At least six more people have died in Sierra Leone and Liberia from Ebola-like symptoms, most of them after crossing over from Guinea.

The virus appeared to have been transmitted by an old man who showed signs of hemorrhagic fever after visiting Dinguiraye in central Guinea, more than 90 miles from the previously identified outbreaks of Ebola.

Four of the man's brothers started to show the same symptoms after attending his funeral in the central town of Dabola, 125 miles from Conakry. All were tested for Ebola on their return to the coastal capital.

"The four tested positive," Lamah says. "They have been placed in an isolation ward in Donka hospital." The old man's family has also been quarantined, the minister said.

First discovered in 1976 after an outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo, then Zaire, Ebola causes a severe hemorrhagic fever in which victims suffer vomiting, diarrhea and both internal and external bleeding.

Named after a river in northern Congo, Ebola is known to have killed more than 1,500 people. There is no cure or vaccine, due to the rarity of the disease makes drug development difficult.

The recent cases of Ebola in Guinea is the first fatal outbreak of the disease recorded in West Africa. It is more commonly found in Congo, Uganda and Sudan.

Ebola was first detected in Guinea in early February. It took health authorities nearly six weeks to identify it, allowing the virus to spread. Ebola has an incubation period of up to three weeks.

Guinea is definitely lacking in a medical infrastructure in order to combat the disease. There are few hospitals here equipped to deal with the problem. The nation has since turned to medical charities and U.N. agencies for help. Medical charity Doctors Without Borders flew in 33 tons of supplies this past weekend.

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