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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

4/1/2014 (11 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

'We are facing an epidemic of a magnitude never before seen in terms of the distribution of cases in the country' officials warn

One of the most horrifying diseases known to man - Ebola, a hemorrhagic fever where the victim's internal organs literally melt away - has picked up speed in West Africa. An outbreak in Guinea has now made its way into Liberia, and medical officials are quick to express their growing alarm.

Guinea's health ministry this year has reported 122 'suspicious cases' of the viral hemorrhagic fever. Seventy-eight people have died so far, with 22 of the samples taken from patients testing positive for the highly contagious tropical pathogen.

Guinea's health ministry this year has reported 122 "suspicious cases" of the viral hemorrhagic fever. Seventy-eight people have died so far, with 22 of the samples taken from patients testing positive for the highly contagious tropical pathogen.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

4/1/2014 (11 months ago)

Published in Africa

Keywords: Ebola, Liberia, Guinea, West Africa, outbreak


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "We are facing an epidemic of a magnitude never before seen in terms of the distribution of cases in the country: Gueckedou, Macenta, Kissidougou, Nzerekore, and now Conakry," Mariano Lugli, Doctors without Borders coordinator in the Guinean capital, said in a statement.

The organization says that an Ebola outbreak suspected of killing dozens in Guinea was an "unprecedented epidemic" as neighboring Liberia confirmed its first cases of the deadly contagion.

It is better to light one tiny candle than to curse the darkness --


Guinea's health ministry this year has reported 122 "suspicious cases" of the viral hemorrhagic fever. Seventy-eight people have died so far, with 22 of the samples taken from patients testing positive for the highly contagious tropical pathogen.

Doctors without Borders, known by its French initials MSF, said that by the end of the week it would have around 60 international field workers with experience in working on hemorrhagic fever divided between Conakry and the southeast of the country.

"MSF has intervened in almost all reported Ebola outbreaks in recent years, but they were much more geographically contained and involved more remote locations," Lugli said.

"This geographical spread is worrisome because it will greatly complicate the tasks of the organizations working to control the epidemic."

The World Health Organization, or WHO and local health authorities have announced two Ebola cases among seven samples tested from Liberia's northern Foya district. This confirms for the first time the spread of the virus across international borders.

According to Liberian Health Minister, Walter Gwenigale, the two patients were sisters, one of whom had since died. Most alarmingly, the surviving sister returned to Monrovia in a taxi before she could be isolated. Authorities fear she may have spread the virus to her taxi driver and four members of her family.

The woman and those with whom she has come into contact are in quarantine in a hospital 30 miles southeast of Monrovia, Gwenigale said.

Ebola has killed almost 1,600 people since it was first observed in 1976 in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo. The recent incident is the first fatal outbreak in West Africa.

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

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