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59 dead as Ebola epidemic spreads

CONAKRY: An Ebola epidemic which has already killed dozens of people in Guinea’s southern forests has spread to the capital Conakry, the United Nations children’s agency said on Sunday.
“At least 59 out of 80 who contracted Ebola across the West African country have died so far. Over the past few days, the deadly haemorrhagic fever has quickly spread from the communities of Macenta, Gueckedou, and Kissidougou to the capital, Conakry,” UNICEF said in a statement emailed to AFP.
Conakry, a vast, sprawling port city on Guinea’s Atlantic coast, is estimated to have a population of between 1.5 and two million.
To date, no treatment or vaccine is available for Ebola, which kills between 25 and 90 percent of those who fall sick, depending on the strain of the virus, according to the World Health Organisation.
The disease is transmitted by direct contact with blood, faeces or sweat, or by sexual contact or unprotected handling of contaminated corpses.