WHO officials describe Ebola outbreak in West Africa as 'challenging'

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WHO officials describe Ebola outbreak in West Africa as 'challenging'

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Doctors from the World Health Organisation have described the current outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in West Africa as ‘one of the most challenging ever to strike since the disease emerged four decades ago’.

They have warned It could take up to four months to contain.

The virus is still spreading in three “hotspots” in southern Guinea having already jumped borders into Sierra Leone and Liberia.

“We see a wide geographic dispersion of cases. When we are dealing with Ebola, you know we are dealing with a lethal infection and because of that these kind of outbreaks are often surrounded by a great deal of fear and anxiety,” said Dr Keiji Fukuda from the World Health Organisation (WHO).

His colleague Dr Stephane Hugonnet added:

“The difficulty in terms of communication is to try to explain to the population that if they are ill they should go and seek care in a health centre, in a hospital, isolation centre.”

Guinea alone has a total of 157 suspected and confirmed cases including 101 deaths. As fear begins to grip communities the search for the source of the outbreak goes on.

Everything from bats to bush meat is being analysed for the disease which has no known cure.