Five health workers, dressed in head-to-toe "Ebola suits", leaving in a pick-up truck in Uige, about 300km north of the Angolan capital, Luanda, to collect a man dying from haemorrhagic fever on April 9, 2005. The Ebola virus has been identified as the source of an outbreak of hemorrhagic fever in southern Guinea, the west African nation said on March 22, 2014 as the death toll rose to 34.
Health authorities in Guinea are battling against an Ebola outbreak that has killed 59 people since February 2014, medical sources confirmed Saturday.
It is the first time that the virus has been reported in West Africa after it was first documented in Central Africa nearly two decades ago, sources said.
A French medical research specialist, Dr Jean Paul Gonzalez on Saturday confirmed that the deaths were caused by the Ebola virus after carrying out a laboratory test in Lyon.
Guinean health authorities said the specimens were obtained from patients in Macenta in the south of the country along the borders with Sierra Leone and Liberia.
The country’s chief medical doctor Sekouba Keita expressed surprise over the sudden outbreak of the virus and especially its rapid spread in the region.
This has triggered a rapid intervention on the part of the health ministry which was undertaking a mass public awareness and information campaign to reduce its spread.
Dozens of patients who have been diagnosed with the disease are being quarantined in dispensaries and other health centres where the outburst has occured
He explained that the 59 deaths were among the 100 diagnosed nearly two months ago with the disease.
A total of 30 tonnes of drugs are being loaded on two flights in France and Belgium and are expected to arrive in the country by Tuesday, Dr Keita said.
Ebola is a highly contagious virus that is characterised by fever, internal and external bleeding, diarrhoea and vomiting and can lead to death within a relatively short period of time, sources said.
Meanwhile, the medical authorities have also announced the resurgence of lassa fever which is caused by the long-nosed rats and has killed hundreds of people in West Africa in the past.