Guinea, a West African country, is facing the deadly Ebola hemorrhagic fever outbreak, killing at least 60 people.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Ebola has been detected in Guinea for the first time with a fatality rate of up to 90 percent. Till Monday, 86 suspected cases and 59 suspected deaths from Ebola were reported in Guinea.
“13 blood samples taken from those suspected cases and deaths have been confirmed in Ebola,” Gregory Härtl, head of WHO public relations, said.
People outside of Guinea have little to worry about, but here experts share some of the facts about this deadly disease.
Ebola hemorrhagic fever is a fatal disease contracted by humans and nonhuman primates like chimpanzees monkeys and gorillas. Virus Ebolavirus is responsible for causing this disease.
The first cases of Ebola were found in 1976 in Nzara (Sudan) and in Yambuku, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The original host of the disease is unknown but researchers consider animals, mainly bats, as its source.
Symptoms of Ebola
Experts say, the symptoms of Ebola start appearing between 2 and 21 days after initial contact. The common symptoms include fever, weakness, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea rash poor kidney and liver function. In rare cases, patient can also experience internal and external bleeding.
There is no known cure or vaccine for Ebola. Currently treatments and vaccines are under development but most have not been tested in humans. Patients suffering from this disease usually suffer dehydration. Hence, they are given oral or intravenous fluid containing electrolytes. Patients must be quarantined.
Why is the Guinea outbreak more worrisome than others?
Ebola outbreak is a common affair in Africa but this time the health experts are more concerned. This is because they believe it more contagious this time.
Dr.Mohamed Ag Ayoya, UNICEF Representative in Guinea, said, “In Guinea, a country with a weak medical infrastructure, an outbreak like this can be devastating. But since nearly everyone with the disease dies, it’s unlikely to infect mass numbers of people like, say, HIV.”