Study: New strain is responsible for Ebola outbreak in West Africa
There is no vaccine or cure for Ebola - a haemorrhagic fever with a fatality rate of up to 90 percent that causes symptoms ranging from flu-like pains to internal and external bleeding caused by kidney and liver failure. Its suspected origin is forest bats and it can be transmitted between humans by touching victims or through bodily fluids. "It is possible that EBOV has circulated undetected in this region for some time. The emergence of the virus in Guinea highlights the risk of EBOV outbreaks in the whole West African subregion," the report continued. INDIGENOUS
Of the 197 clinical cases of Ebola declared in Guinea, 122 have died including several health workers, according to the World Health Organisation's latest update, which cited Guinean health ministry figures. Sixteen of those died in the capital Conakry. Guinea's government had previously placed the death toll at 106. The health ministry said on Tuesday that the number of new cases had fallen rapidly and the outbreak was nearly under control. A senior health ministry official told Reuters on Thursday the government planned to stop publicly releasing the death toll to avoid causing unnecessary panic.
The WHO said earlier this month it would take two to four months to contain the outbreak, which it said had been one of the most challenging it had ever faced. "What is clear to us from the study is that the virus wasn't brought in from the outside, that it is indigenous," said Tarik Jasarevic, a spokesman for the WHO, which was not involved in authoring the study. "It means there were possibly outbreaks in the past that were just not detected," he said. Samples tested in Ghana and Sierra Leone have been negative so far. And the WHO tweeted on Thursday that the clinical samples of six suspected cases in Mali also tested negative for Ebola. In an effort to contain the epidemic, countries in the region have imposed restrictions ranging from basic health checks at airports to Senegal's decision to completely shut its land border with Guinea.