Ebola Spreads from Guinea to Liberia


Health officials in the West African country say the outbreak of Ebola hemorrhagic fever is suspected to have killed at least 78 people so far. Nearly six weeks had passed before authorities identifying the outbreak as Ebola, allowing it to spread

Health officials in the West African country of Guinea report that the outbreak of Ebola hemorrhagic fever has killed a suspected 78 people.

The disease, which has no cure, is thought to have come from the forests in southern Guinea. It has now spread to the densely populated capital of Conakry after an infected person traveled there, proposing a greater risk than when the virus was limited to the country’s less crowded villages. Senegal also closed its border with Guinea to prevent disease spread, and will implement sanitary checks on flights between Guinea’s capital and Dakar.
Nearly six weeks passed before authorities began to identify the outbreak as Ebola, allowing for the virus to spread. As of Friday, 24 samples had tested positive for Ebola. There have also been two confirmed cases and Liberia, and there are suspected cases in Sierra Leone. The patients in both Sierra Leone and Liberia had traveled to Guinea.



Terrible news. Let’s pray they get it contained.


Key facts

*]The Ebola virus causes Ebola virus disease (EVD; formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever) in humans.
*]EVD outbreaks have a case fatality rate of up to 90%.
*]EVD outbreaks occur primarily in remote villages in Central and West Africa, near tropical rainforests.
*]The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission.
*]Fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family are considered to be the natural host of the Ebola virus.
*]No specific treatment or vaccine is available for use in people or animals.
[/LIST]Ebola then spreads in the community through human-to-human transmission, with infection resulting from direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes) with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected people, and indirect contact with environments contaminated with such fluids. Burial ceremonies in which mourners have direct contact with the body of the deceased person can also play a role in the transmission of Ebola. Men who have recovered from the disease can still transmit the virus through their semen for up to 7 weeks after recovery from illness.

Health-care workers have frequently been infected while treating patients with suspected or confirmed EVD. This has occurred through close contact with patients when infection control precautions are not strictly practiced.



Praying for all affected.


Younger readers may not be aware, but 20 years ago during an outbreak of Ebola, a group of Italian sisters spent their final days caring for the sick and dying. No one else would even enter the hospital, and the sisters themselves knew they would never leave the building alive.

Here is a photo from the funeral of Sister Dinarosa Belleri. She was the head of the Little Sisters of the Poor in the Kinshasha Province of Zaire. She traveled to the village where the outbreak occurred, joining her other sisters in the hospital, simply to comfort them as they died.


up to 80 dead now in Guinea



I think it is strange that that the disease as spread as much as it has. Ebola is typically so lethal that it kills its hosts before they can travel. Standard quarantine, and avoidance based motivated by fear, normally allows the viral outbreak to burn itself out very quickly.

I think it is worrisome that the virus has moved into a densely populated city, such as Conakry. Person to person spread may happen more easily there, which could send the death toll much higher.


[LEFT]Here’s a story from the NY Times: Ebola Reaches Guinean Capital, Stirring Fears [/LEFT]


Mali suspects first Ebola cases as regional death toll tops 90

BAMAKO/CONAKRY (Reuters) - Mali said it had identified its first possible cases of Ebola since the start of an outbreak in neighbouring Guinea, adding to fears that the deadly virus was spreading across West Africa.

More than 90 people have already died in Guinea and Liberia in what medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) has warned could turn into an unprecedented epidemic in an impoverished region with poor health services.



Wow, last I read they thought they had it contained.


*An angry crowd attacked a treatment center in Guinea on Friday where staff from Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) were working to contain an outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus, forcing it to shut down, a spokesman for the medical charity said.

“We have evacuated all our staff and closed the treatment center,” Sam Taylor told Reuters, adding that the attackers in Macenta had accused MSF of bringing the disease to the southeastern town.*

People are (rightly) very afraid of this disease


I guess what could make this a more dangerous strain of Ebola is if it has a long enough period of being contagious without showing symptoms.


I would worry about people flying out of guinea or taking the bus from guinea to another country and spreading the virus. How do u even begin to contain this deadly virus?


Yes, it is disturbing to think about what might happen. The ease of travel could allow the virus to be spread across a wide area. I guess that is why Senegal closed its border Guinea. Saudi Arabia has suspended visas for Guineans to travel to Mecca for the hajj. In Paris, Air France quarantined one of its planes for two hours on Friday, after it arrived in from Conakry. One of the passengers showed signs of being sick with something, so everyone on board had to be tested before they could be released.


According to my reading, Ebola is not contagious until AFTER symptoms have appeared. This makes it a very good candidate for effective quarantine protocols.

No need to activate the zombie apocalypse bugout plan yet! But do pray for those affected and the relief workers who risk everything to help victims.


The problem is that the initial symptoms are non-specific: fever, diarrhea, vomiting, rash etc. These symptoms could be from any number of illnesses, which would make any sick person a possible carrier of the virus.


The day BEFORE the outbreak hits the news, this is true. The day AFTER, everybody in the whole region knows to be paranoid about any symptoms like this. Thus, quarantine is effective rather quickly.

VERY different than something like typhoid that is contagious from people without even having any symptoms.


Yes, fear is an effective ally in maintaining a quarantine. The problem arises when someone is sick, but there is no telling whether the person has ebola or whether he has some minor ailment. The fear of ebola can easily lead to unwarranted panic.

Here are a few examples from the news:

*Amid Ebola’s near-certain death sentence, fear and panic have spread. Passengers fled a bus after an elderly man vomited on board. In neighbouring Liberia, one market emptied out when people falsely believed they could catch the disease simply from breathing the same air as victims. In Liberia’s capital, Monrovia, cashiers at one grocery store wore rubber gloves to protect themselves.

In southern Guinea, church pews are now empty on Sundays. People are fearful of shaking hands and instead make the sign of the cross when they greet a friend or loved one.*


I wonder if this article offers a valuable perspective:

*People around the world have read such horrific tales about Ebola that they tend to dread it inordinately, sometimes with dark fascination, as though it’s a preternatural killer. It is not. It’s a horrible virus if you catch it, but it’s not easy to catch.

It afflicts poor African people who live in villages amid forest and are obliged by scarcity of options to eat bats, apes and other wild creatures, found dead or captured live.

Ebola in Guinea is not the Next Big One, an incipient pandemic destined to circle the world, as some anxious observers might imagine. It’s a very grim and local misery, visited upon a small group of unfortunate West Africans, toward whom we should bow in sympathy and continue sending help. It’s not about our fears and dreads. It’s about them.*


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