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Eight members of Ebola prevention team killed in Guinea

Three journalists were among those killed

PRETORIA, September 19. /ITAR-TASS/. Eight members of an Ebola prevention team have been killed in Guinea, the government said on Thursday.

The attack occurred earlier this week, presumably on Tuesday. Three journalists were among those killed, it said.

The bodies were found in a small village not far from the city of Nzerekore in the south-east of the country.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), more than 2,600 people have died from Ebola in West Africa and over 5,000 have been infected. Most of the deaths occurred in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) said on September 8 that several thousand more people would get infected with Ebola in Liberia within the next three weeks.

Liberia is the hardest-hit country in West Africa since the outbreak of the Ebola virus disease (EVD) in Guinea in December 2013.

“Many thousands of new cases are expected in Liberia over the coming 3 weeks,” WHO said, adding that the case-fatality rate, at 58%, was also among the highest.

WHO named six countries that are facing the risk of the EVD spread: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, and Senegal. The organisation and its partners are now working with countries to ensure that full Ebola surveillance, preparedness and response plans are in place in these countries, it said.

WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said last week that development partners needed to prepare for an “exponential increase” in Ebola cases in countries currently experiencing intense virus transmission.

On August 8, Chan declared the Ebola outbreak in West Africa a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

The Ebola virus disease (formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever) was first reported in 1976 in Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo) and got its name from the river near which the first outbreak occurred.

It is a severe, often fatal illness, with a case fatality rate of up to 90% It is one of the world’s most virulent diseases. The infection is transmitted by direct contact with the blood, body fluids and tissues of infected animals or people. Severely ill patients require intensive supportive care.

The United Nations has launched a system-wide coordination initiative to assist the effected West African countries in stopping the spread of the virus.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday announced the establishment of a special mission to fight the epidemic of the Ebola virus disease (EVD) and its future outbreaks.

Speaking at a meeting of the U.N. Security Council, Ban said the mission would start working before the end of the month.