Study: Growing Guinea outbreak caused by new Ebola strain

Thursday, April 17, 2014
By Paul Martin

Lisa Schnirring
CIDRAP News
Apr 17, 2014

The Ebola virus strain responsible for Guinea’s outbreak—now at 197 suspected or confirmed cases—is a new strain that has been sickening and killing people at least as far back as December, researchers reported yesterday.

The results of full genetic sequencing suggest that the outbreak in Guinea isn’t related to others that have occurred elsewhere in Africa, according to an international team that published its findings online in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).

The report is also the first detailed look at the epidemiologic features among the patients sickened in the early days of the outbreak in the forested region of Guinea, sketching out transmission chains that start with a 2-year-old girl who died in December.

Latest WHO numbers
As of yesterday, 197 suspected or confirmed Ebola virus disease (EVD) cases have been reported in Guinea, an increase of 29 since Apr 14, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in an update today. Fourteen more deaths were reported, raising the total to 122.

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