A harrowing report from Guinea highlights that a deadly virus is on the rise in the West African country. According to government officials, more than 60 people have died over the past few weeks.
SEE ALSO: Anti-Lynching Journalist Ida B. Wells Died On This Day In 1931
As reported by The Blaze, a laboratory in France conducted a round of testing and Guinea’s Health Ministry reported 87 such cases on Tuesday. Of that number, 61 have died from the disease, according to a BBC News update. The virus was originally reported to be Ebola, but there appears to be some confusion on what exactly is happening on the ground.
A Canadian man who was traveling from West Africa was suffering from Ebola-like symptoms, but a battery of tests reveal that he does not have Ebola. Further, two people in the capital city of Conarky in Guinea originally thought to have Ebola have tested negative. Liberia reports that five of their countrymen died from the unknown virus after traveling to southern Guinea for medical assistance.
Ebola has never been found in the Western African region before, so neighboring countries Sierra Leone and Liberia have been keeping an eye on matters. Officials are are saying that the outbreak could just be a viral hemorrhagic fever, which carries many of the same properties of the Ebola virus.
Ebola, also known as Ebola virus disease (EVD) or Ebola hemorrhagic fever (EHF), is caused by four major viruses. The World Health Organization (WHO) says Ebola first appeared in Africa in 1970s, although some reports say there may have been earlier instances of the disease.
The symptoms of Ebola wreak havoc on a person’s body in the early onset. Fever, aches, pains, and breathing problems are the first of the issues a person suffers before they began to hemorrhage from the eyes, nose, mouth, and other areas.
For reasons scientists have yet to determine, the virus causes millions of tiny blood vessels to leak which then pools under the skin and all over the body; this is why it’s called a “hemorrhagic fever.”
Bats are commonly considered the main “hosts” or carriers of the disease, and bits of chewed up fruit they’ve left behind in forests exposed primate communities to the disease. It is suspected that the disease spread to humans by way of the consumption of “bushmeat” or chopped up wild animals.
Because of the lack of strong health resources in some parts of the region, the disease has the potential to take hold, but experts consider an outbreak to be preventable. Health officials are currently in the region in an attempt to contain the virus, using the simple means of quarantine as the first line of defense in treating patients.
SEE ALSO: Musician Barred From Heading Cameroon Musical Rights Corporation After Targeting Corruption