Monday, March 31, 2014

Ebola: Liberia confirms cases, Senegal shuts border

There is no known cure or
vaccine against Ebola
The first two cases of Ebola
have been confirmed in Liberia,
after spreading from
neighbouring Guinea, where
the deadly virus has killed 78
The two Liberian cases are
sisters, one of whom had
recently returned from Guinea,
officials say.

As concern grows over the
outbreak, Senegal has closed its
normally busy border with

Ebola is spread by close contact
and kills between 25% and 90%
of its victims.
Senegalese singer Youssou
Ndour cancelled Saturday's
concert in Guinea's capital
Conakry because of the
Although he had already
travelled to Conakry, he told the
BBC it would not be a good idea
to bring hundreds or thousands
of people together in an
enclosed area.

The outbreak began in Guinea's
remote south-eastern Forest
Region but last week spread to
the capital, a sprawling city of
two million.
Senegal's Health Minister Awa
Marie Coll-Seck said the
government decided to close its
border with Guinea after
confirmation the virus had
reached Conakry.

"When it used to be only in the
south of Guinea, we didn't do
anything special. But now that
it's reached Conakry, we believe
it's safer to close our borders,"
she said.
"We have also closed all weekly
markets, known as luma, in the
south. And we're having some
discussions with religious
leaders regarding big religious

There have also been suspected
cases of Ebola in neighbouring
Sierra Leone but these have not
been confirmed.
The outbreak is believed to have
spread to humans from fruit
bats, which are a delicacy in
parts of south-eastern Guinea.

The government has now
banned the sale and
consumption of the bats.
It has also urged people to
ensure they regularly wash their
hands with soap to prevent the
virus from spreading.
Discovered in 1976 after an
outbreak in the Democratic
Republic of Congo, then Zaire,
Ebola causes a severe
haemorrhagic fever where
victims suffer vomiting,
diarrhoea and both internal and
external bleeding.
Scientists have yet to develop an
effective drug or vaccine to fight

Outbreaks of Ebola occur
primarily in remote villages in
Central and West Africa, near
tropical rainforests, the World
Health Organization says.

Reference: BBC News

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