The Ebola virus now wreaking havoc on the West African nation of Guinea has now claimed 101 lives in the country alone, while in Liberia 10 more deaths are believed to be the result of the deadly Zaire strain of the virus, which is behind the rampaging Ebola outbreak that health workers call the “most challenging” they’ve ever seen.
There are also reported cases of Ebola Hemmorhagic Fever in Mali, Ghana and Sierra Leone. While the cases are believed to be caused by the Ebola virus now causing terror throughout Guinea, the cases have not been confirmed as Ebola.
The terrifying Ebola outbreak is showing no signs of slowing down, say doctors who have traveled to the region to try to contain the virus — and to treat Ebola victims for whom there currently is no cure.
“We fully expect to be engaged in this outbreak for another two, three, four months,” said Dr. Keiji Fukuda of the World Health Organization. Fukuda said that while the total number of cases is still lower than earlier outbreaks — most of which occurred in Central Africa — the current West Africa outbreak of Ebola virus has spread more quickly over a wider area than any other outbreak doctors have seen.
The Guinea capital of Conakry, where about 2 million people live in close quarters, mostly with poor sanitation and health care, has already seen 20 cases of Ebola, even though the city is located some 185 miles from the southeastern forested area where the Ebola virus first appeared in early February.
The outbreak had weeks to run rampant before anyone realized what was happening. Because West Africa had no experience with the Ebola virus, local doctors and health officials who already operate with limited resources in the impoverished region were ill-prepared to recognize its symptoms.
By March 23 when the World Health Organzation first learned of the Ebola virus outbreak, 29 people were already dead.
“This is one of the most challenging Ebola outbreaks that we have ever faced,” said Fukuda.
The WHO is currently tracking down anyone who may have had contact with known Ebola victims, said spokesperson Tarik Jasarevic.
“What is really important is to inform the population of Guinea and Conakry about this disease, as this is the first time they are facing Ebola,” he said. “They need to know what it is and how they can protect themselves.”
The Ebola virus is one of the deadliest germs known to man, killing about 90 percent of the people who become infected with the bug.