CONAKRY, Guinea: Health authorities in Guinea are facing an “unprecedented epidemic” of Ebola, an international aid group warned Monday as the death toll from the disease that causes severe bleeding reached 78.
The Ebola outbreak is the first of its kind in West Africa in two decades. Authorities in neighboring Senegal have closed the land border with Guinea. Liberia, another neighboring country, has confirmed two cases, one of them fatal.
Senegalese music superstar Youssou Ndour canceled a weekend concert in Conakry, Guinea’s capital, because he feared the disease could spread in a large crowd gathered to hear him. Residents have steered clear of the hospital in the city of 2 million where, according to authorities, relatives of one victim are being held in isolation.
The emergence of Ebola in Guinea poses challenges never seen in previous outbreaks that involved “more remote locations as opposed to urban areas,” said Doctors Without Borders. Ebola has struck down people in Conakry as well as in Guinea’s rural south.