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Five Dead in New Ebola Outbreak in Guinea, Contact Tracing On

The head of Guinea's health agency said Sunday that the country was in the midst of an Ebola "epidemic situation" with seven cases confirmed in the West African nation, including three deaths. "Very early this morning, the Conakry laboratory confirmed the presence of the Ebola virus," Sakoba Keita said after an emergency meeting in the capital. Photo: AP

The head of Guinea's health agency said Sunday that the country was in the midst of an Ebola "epidemic situation" with seven cases confirmed in the West African nation, including three deaths. "Very early this morning, the Conakry laboratory confirmed the presence of the Ebola virus," Sakoba Keita said after an emergency meeting in the capital. Photo: AP

Guinea's ministry of health said it has identified 115 contacts of the known cases in the city of Nzerekore in the country's south east and 10 in the capital Conakry since the outbreak was confirmed on Sunday.

Guinea has recorded up to 10 suspected cases of Ebola and five people have died since the start of a new outbreak of the deadly virus in the southeast of the West African nation, medical authorities said on Tuesday.

Guinea's ministry of health said it has identified 115 contacts of the known cases in the city of Nzerekore in the country's south east and 10 in the capital Conakry since the outbreak was confirmed on Sunday.

Unlike the deadliest known outbreak, which tore through West Africa from 2013-16, Guinean authorities have said they are better prepared to stop the spread of the virus.

The Ebola virus causes severe bleeding and organ failure and is spread through contact with body fluids.

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The 2013-16 outbreak killed 11,300 people, mostly in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday warned the outbreaks in Guinea and Democratic Republic of Congo represented a regional risk.

Fearing a spread of the disease that could cripple their under-funded health systems which are also battling the coronavirus pandemic, neighbours Ivory Coast, Mali and Sierra Leone said on Monday that they have launched plans to stop any potential spread and reinforced border controls.

The second-deadliest known outbreak was declared over last year in Democratic Republic of Congo, but it recorded a resurgence of the disease on Feb. 7.

first published:February 16, 2021, 18:02 IST