CDC sends team to investigate Ebola outbreak in Guinea
By Amanda Woerner
April 02, 2014
A five-person team from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) departed for Guinea over the weekend to investigate an outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus occurring in the African country, a representative from the CDC confirmed to FoxNews.com.
As of Tuesday, a total of 122 cases of Ebola have been reported, including 80 deaths, according to the Ministry of Health in Guinea. Suspected cases have also been reported in Sierra Leone, though none have been confirmed, according to the CDC.
The CDC sent its team of investigators to Guinea at the request of the Guinean government and the World Health Organization. Additionally, this week a smaller two-person team will go to Liberia, which shares a border with Guinea, to assist in investigating cases of Ebola that have emerged there.
Ebola virus is a rare, highly contagious and often deadly form of hemorrhagic fever — and the current outbreak in Guinea is particularly unusual due to several factors, according to the CDC.
“[Zaire Ebola] has never been found outside of central Africa until this outbreak,” Dr. Barbara Knust, an epidemiologist in the viral special pathogens branch of the CDC, told FoxNews.com. “Also, Guinea had never had an Ebola outbreak before and this is the furthest west we’ve had one. There are some unusual things about this outbreak and certainly things to be investigated further to understand its origins.”