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WHO: Current Ebola outbreak in West Africa most challenging


by Joseph Earnest  April 8, 2014


Newscast Media NEW YORK—The current Ebola outbreak in West Africa is one of the "most challenging" ones ever to strike since the disease emerged four decades ago, says the World Health Organization (WHO).

"We have not had an Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa before," Keiji Fukuda, the WHO assistant director general, said on Tuesday, adding, "This is one of the most challenging Ebola outbreaks we have ever faced.”

According to the WHO's latest figures, there have been 157 suspected cases in Guinea, 101 of them fatal.

"It's absolutely critical to get out as much accurate information as possible to communities and the countries affected, to reduce the rumors, so that people have facts to work with," Fukuda said.

"Ebola is clearly a severe disease. It's an infection with a high fatality rate. But it's also an infection that can be controlled," he noted.

The WHO did not announce any travel restrictions for Guinea, however, other countries in the region are bracing for the epidemic, with Senegal closing its border with the neighboring country.

"We have everything in place to take measures against Ebola. We have a well-oiled system, which we are perfecting daily," Senegalese Health Minister Eva Marie Coll Seck said after visiting the port and airport in the capital Dakar.

Stephane Hugonnet, a WHO medical officer who returned from Guinea last weekend, said, "There is a risk that other countries might be affected, therefore we absolutely need to remain vigilant."

There is currently no known cure for Ebola, whose symptoms are diarrhea, vomiting and bleeding.

The virus spreads through direct contact with blood, feces and sweat. It can also be spread through sexual contact or the unprotected handling of contaminated corpses.

Discovered in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1976, Ebola remains one of the world's most virulent diseases that kills between 25 to 90 percent of those who fall sick.

The French Embassy in Liberia has released a travel advisory warning French citizens against travel to the affected parts of Guinea or areas on the Liberian- Guinean border.        Add Comments>>


  Source: Press TV









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