Skip to main content

Ebola toll rises in 'unprecedented' outbreak

By Matt Smith and Joseph Netto, CNN
updated 8:51 AM EDT, Tue April 1, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Ebola toll rises to 78 in Guinea
  • Cases have been suspected or confirmed in Liberia, Sierra Leone
  • Doctors Without Borders calls geographic spread of cases "unprecedented"

(CNN) -- An outbreak of Ebola hemorrhagic fever in West Africa has spread to Guinea's capital and beyond its borders in an "unprecedented epidemic," a leading aid agency reported Monday.

Ebola virus spreads to Guinea capital
Man tested for Ebola after trip to Africa

A total of 122 patients are suspected of contracting Ebola and 78 have died, Doctors Without Borders said. Most victims have been in Guinea, but the World Health Organization reported Sunday that two deaths in Sierra Leone and one in Liberia are suspected to have been caused by the Ebola virus.

Cases have been identified in three provinces in Guinea near the borders and in Conakry, its coastal capital, said Mariano Lugli, the Doctors Without Borders coordinator there.

"We are facing an epidemic of a magnitude never before seen in terms of the distribution of cases in the country," Lugli said in a statement issued by the organization. Previous outbreaks "were much more geographically contained and involved more remote locations," he said.

Guinea: Ebola virus spreading fast

"This geographical spread is worrisome, because it will greatly complicate the tasks of the organizations working to control the epidemic," Lugli said.

The organization, also known by its French name Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) describes Ebola as "one of the world's most deadly diseases." It spreads in the blood and shuts down the immune system, causing high fever, headache and muscle pain.

It is rare but creates panic, because there is no cure and it's fatal in up to 90% of cases, according to MSF. The variant seen in the Guinea outbreak is the so-called Zaire strain, which Lugli called "the most aggressive and deadly."

READ: What is Ebola and why does it kill?

Part of complete coverage on
updated 5:45 PM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
Pakistan Taliban say the school attack was revenge for the killing of children in a military offensive -- but they are being pressed by defections to ISIS.
A group that claims it hacked Sony Pictures has posted a public threat against moviegoers who see Sony's "The Interview."
updated 9:43 PM EST, Wed December 17, 2014
The gunman behind the deadly siege in Sydney this week was not on a security watch list, and Australia's Prime Minister wants to know why.
updated 4:48 AM EST, Thu December 18, 2014
Bestselling author Marjorie Liu had set her sights on being a lawyer, but realized it wasn't what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.
updated 3:27 PM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
CNN's Matthew Chance looks into an HRW report saying Russia has "legalized discrimination against LGBT people."
updated 9:12 PM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
The Sydney siege has brought home some troubling truths to Australians. They are not immune to what are often called "lone-wolf" terror attacks.
updated 7:12 PM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
A social media campaign condemning Islamophobia under the hashtag #illridewithyou has taken off after Sydney hostage siege.
Bill Cosby has kept quiet as sexual assault allegations mounted against him, but his wife, Camille, finally spoke out in defense of her husband.
updated 6:44 AM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
China-bound AirAsia flight turns back to Bangkok after passenger throws water over crew member.
updated 5:26 AM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
It takes Nepalese eye doctor, Sanduk Ruit about five minutes to change someone's life.
updated 5:54 AM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
This epic journey crosses 13,000 kilometers, eight countries over 21 days. Find out where.
updated 9:31 AM EST, Fri December 19, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT