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New Ebola cases as deadly virus affects Liberia

25 March 2014, 14:32

Monrovia - Liberian authorities on Tuesday reported 11 suspected Ebola cases and five deaths, after the deadly virus spread from neighbouring Guinea where it killed at least 59 people.

The cases were detected in the districts of Zorzor, Lofa and Foyah, near Liberia's northern border with Guinea, according to the health department.

"The disease is reported to be spreading along the border with Liberia, specifically in the communities and towns close to Guinea towns of Guekedou, Nzerekore, Kissidougou and Macenta," the health department's chief medical officer, Bernice Dahn, told local newspaper FrontPage Africa.

"The team is already investigating the situation, tracing contacts, collecting blood samples and sensitizing local health authorities on the disease," Dahn added.

The World Health Organisation is in the process of "confirming these [suspected] cases to know what we are dealing with," according to WHO advisor to Liberia Peter Clement.

Residents have been calling for the border to be closed.

Last week, Guinea's Ministry of Health registered almost 100 infections since the virus was first reported in February, noting the outbreak has reached "epidemic proportions".

Guinea's southern districts Macenta, Kissidougou and Gueckedou - which border with Sierra Leone - have been particularly affected by the outbreak.

Ebola is one of the most contagious viral diseases known, often resulting in death. The virus cannot be prevented with a vaccine and is untreatable with medication.



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