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Guinea confirms Ebola as source of deadly epidemic

Published on Mar 23, 2014 12:01 AM
 

CONAKRY (AFP) - Guinea identified the Ebola virus Saturday as the source of a highly contagious epidemic raging through its southern forests, as the death toll rose to 34.

Experts in the west African nation had been unable to identify the disease, whose symptoms - diarrhoea, vomiting and bleeding - were first observed six weeks ago, but scientists in the French city of Lyon confirmed it was Ebola, the Guinean health ministry said.

"We got the first results from Lyon yesterday (Friday) which informed us of the presence of the Ebola virus as the cause of this outbreak," Sakoba Keita, the ministry's chief disease prevention officer told AFP.

"Up to today we have identified 49 cases with 34 deaths in four prefectures." To date, no treatment or vaccine is available for Ebola, which kills between 25 and 90 percent of those who fall sick, depending on the strain of the virus, according to the World Health Organisation.

 
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