Ebola outbreak in Guinea: virus kills 60, UNICEF reports

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Video Discription: Originally published on March 25, 2014

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Experts have been unable to track down the origin of an Ebola virus outbreak in Western Africa that has killed 60 people since the first case was reported late last month, according to a report by Britain's The Independent.

Cases of the hemorrhagic fever have been recorded in Guinea's capital, Conakry, and three south-eastern towns since February 9. No cases had been previously registered in Guinea.

One of the most virulent viruses to infect humans, Ebola is transmitted through bodily fluids via oral and nasal exposure and through conjunctiva, the eye's transparent outer membrane. The virus infects and replicates in immune cells which further disseminate the virus via the the lymphatic system and blood.

Typical symptoms of infection include fever, diarrhea and vomiting, while some patients experience rashes and extensive internal and external bleeding.

Lymphocyte depletion and necrosis are observed in the spleen, thymus, and the liver. Intensified immune response leads to dysregulated coagulation which causes bleeding and hemorrhage in the gastrointestinal tract. Compromised endothelial cells also cause vascular leakage leading to hypotension. These dysfunctions culminate in shock and systemic organ failure.

At least 59 of the 80 of the people who have contracted Ebola across Guinea have died, according to UNICEF.

International charity Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) stated on Saturday that it will ship in 33 tons of medicines and equipment in addition to setting up isolation units in the affected towns.

"These structures are essential to prevent the spread of the disease, which is highly contagious," Dr. Esther Sterk, MSF's tropical medicine adviser, said in an Independent report.

The disease has most frequently occurred in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, South Sudan and Gabon.


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