Ebola Death Toll Rises to 142 in Guinea and Liberia, WHO Says

The outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in West Africa has claimed 142 lives across Guinea and Liberia, according to the World Health Organization.

Guinea’s health authorities reported a total of 208 clinical cases, including 136 deaths from the hemorrhagic fever, the Geneva-based WHO said in a statement posted on its website yesterday. Liberia had 34 “clinically compatible” cases of the disease, including six fatalities, it said.

The outbreak, which began in March, is the worst in seven years and the first time the disease has caused deaths in West Africa. Ebola results in high fever, diarrhea and vomiting, and can lead to internal bleeding. There is no specific treatment or vaccine for the virus, which kills 50 percent to 90 percent of those who contract it, according to the WHO.

Since the incubation period for Ebola can be as long as three weeks, “it is likely that the Guinean health authorities will report new cases in the coming weeks and additional suspected cases may also be identified in neighboring countries,” WHO said. “It is anticipated that most of the suspected cases currently reported by Liberia will be reclassified as discarded and removed from the case count.”

Guinea’s Health Ministry on April 19 revised the death toll from the disease to 61 from 122, saying confusion caused cases in the West African nation to be duplicated.

WHO said it doesn’t recommend that travel or trade restrictions be applied to Guinea or Liberia based on the latest available information available.

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