Saturday 7 June 2014

Current Ebola outbreak among worst ever

The current outbreak of Ebola in Guinea in West Africa is now perhaps the fourth deadliest ever. The World Health Organisation says it has so far registered 328 confirmed or suspected cases in the country, and that 208 people have died.

The worst ever outbreak so far was in Congo, then Zaire, in 1976, in which the death toll was 280. A further 245 died in the country in 1995.

As well as the cases in Guinea, the disease has cost 6 lives in Sierra Leone, where there are 79 known or confirmed cases, and there are also fears that Ebola has reappeared in Liberia, which suffered 9 deaths earlier this year.

There is no vaccine and no effective treatment for the disease, which causes fever, muscle pain, and severe bleeding.  Death rates can reach 80 per cent or more.

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