Conakry, Guinea (4E) – An outbreak of the deadly viral hemorrhagic fever ebola struck the West African country of Guinea for the first time killing 59 people and infecting others, the health ministry reported.
Health Minister Remy Lamah confirmed the ebola outbreak based on results of initial tests of victims. The UNICEF said up to 80 people were infected and three who died are children.
The fever has quickly spread from the communities of Macenta, Gueckedou, and Kissidougou to the capital Conakry, the UN agency added. So far, most of the cases have been in the forest area of southern Guinea.
Ebola infection causes diarrhea, vomiting and fever. It affects multiple organ systems in the body and 25 to 90 percent of victims die. There is no cure or vaccine for the disease.
The disease is spread from infected people, from objects belonging to ill or dead people, and by the consumption of meat from animals in the bush.
The Guinean Health Ministry urged people to stay calm, wash their hands and report all cases to authorities.
Meanwhile, the international medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres announced on Saturday it is shipping 33 tons of medicines and equipment and setting up isolation units in the affected areas of Guinea.