Ebola Outbreak Confirmed in Guinea

Posted on March 22, 2014

TEM of an ebola virus virion


An Ebola outbreak has been confirmed in Guinea. The deadly virus has killed up to 59 people. There are 59 deaths out of 80 suspected cases. Reuters reports that six of twelve samples have tested positive for Ebola. A transmission electron micrograph (TEM) of an Ebola virus virion created by CDC microbiologist Cynthia Goldsmith is pictured above.

Reuters also says WHO (World Health Organization) officials say the virus may have spread to neighboring Sierra Leone. WHO officials told Reuters that similar cases with people suffering from vomiting, fever, diarrhea and bleeding have been reported in Sierra Leone near the border with Guinea. The cases have not yet been confirmed as Ebola.

Aljazeera is reporting that Doctors Without Borders (MSF) already has a team of 24 experts in Guinea and will be adding to it. 33 tons of medicine and isolation and sanitation equipment is also being sent to the region.

Ebola is highly contagious and it has a very high mortality rate. Fortunately, Ebola outbreaks in Africa are usually contained fairly quickly after tight quarantine and sanitation measures are put in place by experts. This is the first reported outbreak of Ebola since 2012. The last outbreak that killed more than 100 people was in Uganda in 2007-2008. A chart listing some of the recent outbreaks can be found here on Wikipedia.

Image: CDC/ Cynthia Goldsmith