Conakry (AFP) – Guinea is racing to contain a deadly Ebola epidemic spreading from its southern forests to the capital Conakry, as neighbouring Senegal closes its border.
The European Union pledged 500,000 euros ($690,000) to fight the contagion, while the Senegalese interior ministry said border crossings to Guinea would be closed “until further notice”.
The order affects crossings at Kolda and Kedougou in the south of Senegal which are heavily used by traders, particularly during a weekly market attended by thousands from neighbouring countries.
Eight cases of Ebola have been confirmed in Conakry, the Guinean health ministry said late Friday, including one fatality.
Across the country, “the total number of suspected cases recorded from January to 28 March 2014 is 111 cases of haemorrhagic fever including 70 deaths … or a fatality rate of 63 percent,” the ministry said in a statement.
Samples taken from 45 of the suspect cases included 19 which tested positive for Ebola.
Those infected have been put in isolation to prevent the virus from spreading, while aid organisations have sent dozens of workers to help the poor west African country combat the outbreak of haemorrhagic fever.