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Ebola outbreak in West Aftrica



DAKAR, Senegal - Deep in the forests of southern Guinea, the first victims fell ill with high fevers. People assumed it was the perennial killer malaria and had no reason to fear touching the bodies, as is the custom in traditional funerals.

Some desperate relatives brought their loved ones to the distant capital in search of better medical care, unknowingly spreading what ultimately was discovered to be Ebola, one of the world's most deadly diseases.

The key to halting Ebola is isolating the sick, but fear and panic have sent some patients into hiding, complicating efforts to stop its spread. Ebola has reached the capitals of all three countries, and the World Health Organization reported 44 new cases including 21 deaths on Friday.
There has been "a gross misjudgment across the board in gauging the severity and scale of damage the current Ebola outbreak can unleash," the aid group Plan International warned earlier this month.
"There are no cases from outside Africa to date. The threat of it spreading though is very much there," said Dr. Unni Krishnan, head of disaster preparedness and response for the aid group.

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