Wed, Apr 16, 2014 - Page 7 News List

Guinea’s fatal Ebola outbreak now under control: government

CONTAGION CONTAINED:Guinea’s foreign minister said the epidemic that has killed 108 people, which the WHO called one of the worst yet, is not spreading

AFP, PRETORIA

Guinean Minister of Foreign Affairs Francois Fall on Monday said that the West African country has brought its Ebola outbreak under control after the deadly virus claimed more than 100 lives.

“We are pleased to say we have controlled the spread of the epidemic,” Fall told reporters after meeting South African Minister of Foreign Affairs Maite Nkoana-Mashabane in Pretoria. “We have even managed to cure some of those infected.”

Fall did not elaborate on how those who contracted the virus with a fatality rate of up to 90 percent were cured, given that there is no known vaccine, cure or specific treatment for it.

The Guinean outbreak has been one of the most deadly yet, with 168 cases “clinically compatible” with Ebola reported, of which 108 were fatal, the WHO said in its latest update on Monday.

International aid organizations last week initiated emergency measures in Guinea and West Africa to contain the disease.

“We benefited from help from the international community to stop the spread of the epidemic,” Fall said.

The outbreak began in the impoverished country’s southern forests, but spread to Guinea’s capital, Conakry, a sprawling port city on the Atlantic coast that is home to 2 million people.

The WHO has called West Africa’s first Ebola outbreak among humans one of the most challenging since the virus emerged in 1976 in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

“It is the first time we have faced this epidemic,” Fall said, adding that despite acting “very quickly” to curb its spread, “sadly there were 100 people dead.”

He added that strict measures are in place to stop the virus from spreading.

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