Reuters reports that an outbreak of hemorrhagic fever has killed at least 23 people in Guinea’s southeastern forest region since February when the first case was reported. Sakoba Keita, the doctor in charge of the prevention of epidemics in Guinea’s Health Ministry says at least 35 cases have been recorded by local health officials:
Symptoms appear as diarrhea and vomiting, with a very high fever. Some cases showed relatively heavy bleeding. We thought it was Lassa fever or another form of cholera but this disease seems to strike like lightning. We are looking at all possibilities, including Ebola, because bushmeat is consumed in that region and Guinea is in the Ebola belt.
No cases of the highly contagious Ebola fever have ever been recorded in the country. Most of the victims had been in contact with the deceased or had handled the bodies.