Liberia confirms first Ebola cases

LIBERIA has confirmed two cases of the deadly Ebola virus that is suspected to have killed at least 78 people in neighbouring Guinea, according to the World Health Organisation.

The WHO said the cases were among seven samples tested from the northern Foya district, which shares a border with southern Guinea.

“Two of those samples have tested positive for the Ebola virus. There have been two deaths among the suspected cases, a 35-year-old woman who died on March 21 tested positive for the Ebola virus while a male patient who died on March 27 tested negative,” it said.

Ebola has killed almost 1 600 people since it was first observed in 1976 in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo but this is the first fatal outbreak in west Africa.

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

Guinea’s health ministry said that 122 “suspicious cases” of viral haemorrhagic fever, including 78 deaths, had been registered. – AFP

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