Ebola outbreak kills at least 87 in Africa

Wednesday, April 2, 2014
By Paul Martin

By Bloomberg News
NJ.com
April 02, 2014

An outbreak of Ebola that has killed at least 87 people in Africa is drawing aid from U.S. disease fighters who will help track the deadly path of a virus with no cure that is fatal in about 90 percent of its cases.

There have been 134 cases in Guinea and Liberia, the World Health Organization said Tuesday.

A five-person team from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention arrived Sunday in Guinea, where they’ll help contact anyone who has been in touch with people infected, said Steve Monroe, a CDC official. A second team may soon go to Liberia, he said, and the agency is assessing the need for more laboratory assistance to analyze samples.

Last week, when Canadian officials feared that a severely ill patient who had recently been to Liberia may have been infected with deadly Ebola, the U.S. took notice. It was a “false alarm,” Monroe said, “that reminded us that any of these diseases are only a plane ride away.”

The U.S. is well prepared to handle infected patients on its soil with 20 CDC quarantine stations in place at U.S. airports that are designed to deal with anyone who has symptoms of a wide range of infectious illnesses, including Ebola, according to Christine Pearson, an agency spokeswoman. Despite the outbreak, she said, there are no special requests or guidelines to airlines related to Ebola, though the agency has issued a travel alert.

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