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Ebola Death Toll at 61 in Guinea

Update Date: Apr 21, 2014 09:48 AM EDT

Guinea's Ministry of Health announced this past Saturday that the Ebola virus has killed a total of 61 people since the outbreak first started in January. Health officials had originally reported the death toll at 122. However, many of the cases were counted twice. Overall, the West African country has tested 197 suspected cases and confirmed the virus in 109 of them.

"From now on, biological analysis can be done more quickly, and the toll will no longer include any non-confirmed cases," the government's spokesman Damantang Albert Camara said reported by Medical Xpress.

The majority of the deaths occurred in the southern town of Gueckedou where 34 out of the 58 confirmed cases ended up dying. In Guinea's capital, Conakry, 15 patients out of the 36 confirmed cases died.

Ebola hemorrhagic fever (EHF) is a severe viral illness that can be transmitted via contact with infected blood, bodily fluids and tissue. The virus is typically caught from contact with infected animals. Ebola causes symptoms such as fever, weakness, muscle pain, sore throat and headache followed by diarrhea, vomiting, rash, and impaired kidney and liver function. There is current no vaccine or cure for the infection. The virus kills roughly 90 percent of all infected people.

The officials are now working hard to contain the virus and prevent any widespread transmission. However, neighboring country, Liberia has confirmed six cases of the virus. Health officials are investigating 27 cases of hemorrhagic fever and 13 deaths. In order to contain the virus, suspected cases need to be quarantined and isolated in ultra-clean conditions.

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