'Unprecedented epidemic' of Ebola spreads to Liberia
April 2, 2014, 12:01 am TWN
Guinea---Aid organization Doctors Without Borders said Monday an Ebola outbreak suspected of killing dozens in Guinea was an "unprecedented epidemic" as Liberia confirmed its first cases of the deadly contagion.
Guinea's health ministry this year has reported 122 "suspicious cases" of viral hemorrhagic fever, including 78 deaths, with 22 of the samples taken from patients testing positive for the highly contagious tropical pathogen.
The World Health Organization and local health authorities have announced two Ebola cases among seven samples tested from Liberia's northern Foya district, confirming for the first time the spread of the virus across international borders.
Ebola has killed almost 1,600 people since it was first observed in 1976 in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo but this is the first fatal outbreak in west Africa.
The tropical virus leads to hemorrhagic fever, causing muscle pain, weakness, vomiting, diarrhea and, in severe cases, organ failure and unstoppable bleeding.