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article imageNew Ebola cases in two African nations

By Tim Sandle     Jul 11, 2014 in Science
The U.N. health agency has reported about 50 new Ebola cases in Sierra Leone and Liberia. The disease, among the deadliest in the world, continues to spread across West Africa.
Ebola virus disease (EVD) or Ebola hemorrhagic fever (EHF) is the human disease which may be caused by any of four of the five known Ebola viruses. The name comes from Ebola River in Republic of the Congo, where it was first found. One of the common signs of the disease is bleeding from mucous membranes and puncture sites. It is normally fatal.
The World Health Organization (WHO) states that the infection gets into humans through close contact with the blood, secretions, organs and other bodily fluids from a number of species including chimpanzees, gorillas and forest antelope.
Over the past few months news stories have highlighted the spread of Ebola across regions of Africa (Digital Journalist Karen Graham has reported on the subject recently).
The latest news highlights a spate of new cases in Sierra Leone and Liberia. WHO has said that 34 new cases were reported by Sierra Leone and 16 by Liberia since July 3. These figures mean that there have been 844 cases of Ebola in the Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, including 518 deaths. The majority of cases have been in Guinea.
WHO recognizes that action is required. According to Newsweek, on July 3, a group of leaders from WHO, international organizations and the health ministers of 11 countries met in Ghana to address the Ebola outbreak. At the meeting in Accra, the capital of Ghana, new measures were agreed upon to speed up treatment of the disease, including setting up a sub-regional center in Guinea to help coordinate efforts.
At the meeting, Ghanaian President John Mahama said: "We must do everything within our means and power to defeat this deadly disease. We must exercise vigilance and caution and avoid any panic or misinformation."
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