The World Health Organization has reported the total number of dead due to the outbreak of the Ebola virus in Guinea and Liberia now stands at 121 out of a total of 200 confirmed cases of the disease.
Even though Guinea's health officials believe the Ebola outbreak is starting to slow control six suspected cases were reported in neighboring Mali, which could indicate a further spread of the disease. The breakdown has 108 people dying in Guinea and 13 in Liberia.
In addition to Mali, cases have been discovered on the outskirts of the Liberian capital of Monrovia.
"The number of new cases have fallen rapidly," said Rafi Diallo, a spokesman for Guinea's health ministry, who gave the latest toll of 106 dead in Guinea from 159 confirmed and suspected cases of Ebola since the outbreak began in February.
Diallo added his country will not consider the outbreak fully under control until no new cases are reported.
The Malian health minister said the people reportedly infected in that country have been tested with negative results, meanwhile WHO contradicted this statement saying the Malian patients were still under observation and that test results had not been returned.
The Ebola virus has no known cure and will normally kill about 90 percent of those infected. It is a type of hemorrhagic fever transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population via person-to-person contact. The virus is most likely to appear in remote villages located in the tropical rainforests of Central and West Africa, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Symptoms are sudden fever, weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat, followed by vomiting, diarrhea, rash, impaired kidney and liver function, and in some cases, both internal and external bleeding. The only medical treatment is to keep the patient hydrated, but there is no anti-virus medication.
In order to help control the outbreak the U.S. has sent a team of medical experts to Liberia and neighboring Gambia where they have set up monitoring stations. In addition, travel restrictions have been put in place banning flights from the infected regions. However, the general porous nature of the national borders in the area will help the disease spread.
The fact the disease tends to start in remote areas is a blessing as it tends to help slow the spread of the disease. One negative is the disease's long incubation period, up to 21 days, which means an infected person can move around and unknowingly spread the disease.'
The WHO believes it will take several more months before the outbreak is fully contained.