Five people in Sierra Leone have died so far after contracting the deadly Ebola virus, the World Health Organization (WHO) has confirmed.
The virus is thought to have spread from a remote area in the southeast of Guinea to the capital, Conakry, as well as to neighbouring Liberia and now to Sierra Leone. A total of 258 clinical cases have been recorded in Guinea since the outbreak in February this year. These include 174 deaths – 95 confirmed, 57 probable and 57 suspected, according to WHO. A further 11 people have died in Liberia from the deadly virus.
“Preliminary information received from the field indicates that one laboratory-confirmed case and five community deaths have been reported from Koindu chiefdom,” the (WHO) stated on its website.
The WHO has deployed six international experts to the area with essential supplies and reagents.
Ebola has been more commonly found in Central Africa including Democratic Republic of Congo and Gabon, and in Uganda and South Sudan, however the latest research shows that it was not introduced from this region, indicating a new strain of the virus.
Symptoms include fever, headache, and joint and muscle pain, followed by diarrhoea and vomiting, and eventually rashes and internal and external bleeding.
There is no cure or vaccine for Ebola. The infection is transmitted by direct contact with the blood, body fluids and tissues of infected animals or people.