CONAKRY, Guinea — Health officials rushed Monday to contain the deadly Ebola virus in Guinea, where at least 59 people are believed to have died from an outbreak of the virus that can cause severe internal bleeding.
Those suspected of exposure to the virus were being quarantined and public health announcements urged people to avoid direct body contact with those infected.
The Ebola virus leads to severe hemorrhagic fever in its victims and has no vaccine or specific treatment. The new cases in Guinea mark the first time in 20 years that an outbreak of the virus has been reported in West Africa.
Already health workers fear it could overtax the deeply impoverished country with severely limited medical facilities.
"The Ebola fever is one of the most virulent diseases known to mankind with a fatality rate up to 90 percent," said Ibrahima Toure, Guinea's country director for the aid group Plan International.
The World Health Organization said it is dispatching experts to help ministry officials in Guinea.