Guinea closes borders to stop Ebola spread

IANS| Updated: Aug 09, 2014, 21:55 PM IST
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Conakry: Guinea Saturday closed its borders with Sierra Leone and Liberia due to the Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak, media reports said.

"We have provisionally closed the frontier between Guinea and Sierra Leone because of all the news that we have received from there recently," Sky News quoted Health Minister Remy Lamah as saying at a press conference.

She added that the border with Liberia has also been closed.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared the EVD outbreak an international health emergency and warned that the deadly virus may continue spreading for months.

"The possible consequences of further international spread are particularly serious in view of the virulence of the virus, the intensive community and health facility transmission patterns, and the weak health systems in the currently affected and most at-risk countries,” the WHO said in a statement Friday.

The current Ebola outbreak started in Guinea in December 2013.

It has now manifested itself in Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone besides Guinea.

On Friday, Nigeria became the third African nation, after Sierra Leone and Liberia, to declare a national emergency as hospitals struggled to cope with increasing cases.

As of Aug 4, the countries have reported 1,711 cases (1,070 confirmed, 436 probable, 205 suspect), including 932 deaths.

The virus is spread through direct contact with the bodily fluids of those infected.

"This is currently the largest EVD outbreak ever recorded," the UN body said.