[QODLink]
Africa

Ebola outbreak spreads to Sierra Leone

Several people reported dead near border with Guinea, in country's first outbreak of deadly virus.

Last updated: 26 May 2014 17:49
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Ebola has killed more than 100 people since March, and has a fatality rate of up to 90 percent [AFP]

Sierra Leone has confirmed its first death from Ebola, with several more suspected to have succumbed to the deadly virus that swept across neighbouring Guinea earlier this year.

"I can categorically confirm that the Ebola sickness has materialised," said health ministry official Amara Jambai on Monday. 

"Preliminary information received from the field indicates that one laboratory-confirmed case and five community deaths have been reported from Koindu chiefdom," the World Health Organisation said in a statement on its website.

Jambai initially said four cases of Ebola fever had been identified, but later clarified that while four people had died, only one person had so far been confirmed to have had the virus, the AFP news agency reported. 

"Of the four deaths only one has been confirmed as dying from Ebola after two independent tests at the Kenema Laboratory Centre. The cause of death of the other three is still being investigated," he said.

More patients 

Jambai said 11 people with acute diarrhoea and vomiting had been admitted to the Koindu community health centre in a region bordering southern Guinea.

Four people had died and five were responding to treatment.

Ebola has killed more than 100 people in neighbouring Guinea and Liberia since March, and has a fatality rate of up to 90 percent.

It is one of a handful of similar fevers that cause vomiting, diarrhoea, muscle pain, and in severe cases, organ failure and unstoppable internal bleeding.

It can be transmitted by blood and other bodily fluids, as well as the handling of contaminated corpses or infected animals, known to be vectors of the disease.

The WHO has described the region's first Ebola outbreak as one of the most challenging outbreaks it has faced. 

280

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.