An outbreak of the ebola virus has spread to Guinea. According to UNICEF, at least 59 people in Guinea have died from the virus. Reports indicate that this is the first outbreak detected in humans in the South African nation.
Symptoms of the virus were first noticed last month. These symptoms include fever, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Overall, there have been 80 cases reported, including the 59 deaths. Most of the people affected by the virus were from prefectures near Liberia and Sierra Leone. However, there were also two deaths reported in Guinea’s capital, Conakry.
An outbreak, such as the ebola virus, can be devastating for a country with a weak medical infrastructure, UNICEF representative Dr. Mohamed Ag Ayoya stated. UNICEF has been hard at work in order to alert staff and show the locals how to avoid getting the illness.
According to the Guinean Health Ministry, the virus can spread from objects that belong to the dead, consumption of animal meat from the bushes, and from coming in contact with people who have been infected.
Dr. Esther Sterk, one of the advisers for Doctors Without Borders, said that they have noticed that most of the people that have died were linked with each other. “We see that there is a transmission chain in families.”
Guinea has been treating patients free of charge, and Doctors Without Borders has already put up an isolation area in order to prevent the virus from spreading further. Locals have been instructed to report all incidents to authorities, wash their hands, and stay calm amidst the outbreak.
Medecins Sans Frontieres, a medical charity, has announced that they will be sending 33 tons of equipment and medicines in order to give aid to Guinea.
Officials have yet to determine how the ebola virus was transmitted to a human, but it most likely resulted from contact with an infected monkey or bat.
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