Guinea, Liberia investigate more Ebola cases

The number of suspected and confirmed Ebola virus infections has risen in Guinea and Liberia, but the number of deaths held steady, according to the latest update from the World Health Organization (WHO).

In Guinea, where the outbreak began in the country's southeastern forested districts, 6 more confirmed or suspected Ebola virus disease (EVD) cases have been reported, bringing the case total to 143, with the number of deaths remaining at 86, the WHO said in an Apr 5 update. The totals put the case-fatality rate at 60%. So far 54 of the cases have been confirmed by lab tests.

None of the new cases in Guinea involve health workers, keeping the number of confirmed or suspected illnesses in that group to 14.

Contact tracing activities have identified 74 more people who were potentially exposed to the virus, and 49 others were released from observation after they passed the 21-day incubation period for EVD.

Six new Liberian cases

In Liberia, the health ministry has reported 6 more suspected or confirmed EVD cases, boosting the total to 20, according to the WHO. Eighteen of the cases are suspected, and 2 are confirmed.

Of four clinically compatible cases reported on Apr 4, one is in a healthcare worker. One of the other suspected case-patients is a hunter who died shortly after he sought care at a hospital in Tapita, a town in Nimba County, located in the eastern part of Liberia. He has no known history of contact with EVD case-patients in Liberia or Guinea, and authorities are investigating if he was exposed to bush meat or other transmission source. Another of the suspected cases is in a 3-year-old boy who had traveled from Guinea.

Only two patients in Liberia are still in isolation, and the health ministry is observing 46 contacts.

Hemorrhagic fever cases in Mali

Elsewhere, Mali's health ministry has reported four patients who have suspected viral hemorrhagic fever, the WHO said. The number is one more than reported by media sources on Apr 4.

All of the suspected illnesses are in people who sought medical care in Sibiribougou, in Mali's Koulikoro region, located in the western part of the country in an area borders Guinea. The patients are in isolation, pending test results. Their samples have been sent to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In other outbreak developments, a crowd attacked an Ebola treatment center run by Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres, or MSF) on Apr 4, accusing the staff of bringing the disease to Guinea, Reuters reported on Apr 4.

Sam Taylor, an MSF spokesman, told Reuters that the group evacuated its staff and closed the center, which is located in Macenta. The town is located in the southeast part of Guinea and has so far registered 27 confirmed or suspected cases, including 14 deaths.

Taylor said MSF has the support of local leaders and is working with authorities to reopen the treatment center, according to the report. He did not say if any MSF staffers had been hurt in the attack.

See also:

Apr 5 WHO statement

Apr 4 Reuters story

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