Ebola Death Toll Rises in Rare West African Outbreak

The West African Ebola death toll has gone up to 147 people, according to the World Health Organization. The Ebola outbreak has been centered in the countries of Guinea and Liberia.

The largest number of cases have been in Guinea, where 136 people have died. In Liberia another 11 have died.

What makes the current outbreak of Ebola highly rare is that it usually occurs in central or eastern Africa. Western African nations don’t have experience dealing with the deadly virus, and inexperienced government health officials and doctors are facing more challenges in their response.

The symptoms of Ebola can include a high fever, internal bleeding and external bleeding. The virus spreads through the bloodstream and shuts down the immune system. From there it causes high fever, headache and muscle pain.

No cure has ever been found for Ebola, making a high death toll likely whenever there is an outbreak. The vaccine for Ebola, which is named after the Ebola River in the Democratic Republic of Congo, also has a high death rate.

Doctors Without Borders, a medical aid organization, has called the outbreak “unprecedented” because cases in the past were limited to a small area.

The rising death toll has come somewhat as a surprise to local officials in Guinea, who were optimistic that the Ebola outbreak was over. Last week, they thought that the outbreak was close to ending and that they were out of the woods. As the death toll slowed down and travel restrictions increased, officials said that they had things under control.

“The number of new cases have fallen rapidly,” Rafi Diallo, a spokesman for Guinea’s health ministry, told Reuters. On the day of the interview, April 15, there were 159 confirmed or suspected cases of the disease. “Once we no longer have any new cases…we can say that this is totally under control.”

Though the Ebola outbreak in west Africa is unusual, the high death toll is not. The virus is among the deadliest in the world and typically kills up to 90 percent of those who become clinically infected.

There have been rumors that Ebola has spread to other countries, but the World Health Organization (WHO) said earlier this week that the death toll is limited to just Guinea and Liberia. In Sierra Leone, almost two dozen people were tested for suspected cases of Ebola, but did not have it.

In Guinea, there have been 208 clinical cases of Ebola and Liberia has had 34 clinical cases. The Ebola death toll is expected to continue to rise.

Read More: http://www.inquisitr.com/1220816/ebola-outbreak-may-have-spread-out-of-africa-and-into-europe