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September 22, 2017

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Guinea scrambles to stave off deadly Ebola outbreak

CONAKRY--Aid workers and public health officials battled Monday to contain west Africa's first outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus as tests on suspected cases in Conakry allayed fears that it had spread to the capital.

At least 59 people have died in an outbreak of the virulent virus raging through Guinea's southern forests but tests on three haemorrhagic fever cases — two of them fatal — in Conakry were negative, the government said.

"The Pasteur Institute in Dakar worked urgently all last night on samples taken from suspected cases here in Conakry, which were all negative," said Sakoba Keita, the health ministry's chief disease prevention officer.

"So for now, there's no Ebola in Conakry, but haemorrhagic fever whose nature remains to be determined."

The U.N. Children's Fund (UNICEF) said in a statement on Sunday that the Ebola virus "has quickly spread from the communities of Macenta, Gueckedou, and Kissidougou to the capital, Conakry."

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