West African Ebola Outbreak Caused by New Strain of Disease: Study


Saliou Samb
Reuters
April 18, 2014

So far, the majority of ebola outbreaks have occurred in Africa. Credit: lakareutangranser / Flickr

So far, the majority of ebola outbreaks have occurred in Africa. Credit: lakareutangranser / Flickr

An Ebola outbreak blamed for 135 deaths in West Africa in the past month was not imported from Central Africa but caused by a new strain of the disease, a study in a U.S. medical journal said, raising the specter of further regional epidemics.

The spread of Ebola from a remote corner of Guinea to the capital and into neighboring Liberia, the first deadly outbreak reported in West Africa, has caused panic across a region struggling with weak healthcare systems and porous borders.

Ebola is endemic to Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, South Sudan and Gabon, and scientists initially believed that Central Africa’s Zaire strain of the virus was responsible for the outbreak.

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