Tracing people in a city of around 2 million who may
have had physical contact with infected people is harder than in the
epicenter of the outbreak, Guinea Forestiere some 900 km from the
capital, the United Nations agency says.
Seventy people have begun intensive training on contact tracing in
Conakry, the WHO said in a statement. "They will go into the
communities to follow up on specific persons who had close contacts
with patients with a confirmed Ebola infection."
Infection control measures in Donka national hospital and health
facilities are also being stepped up to halt spread of the disease,
which can kill up to 9 out of 10 patients, it said. The virus can be
transmitted by touching victims or their vomit or body fluids.
To date, 157 possible cases of Ebola have been identified in Guinea,
66 of whom have been confirmed as having the virus, the WHO said.
They include 101 deaths.
Liberia has 21 suspected and confirmed cases including 10 deaths,
but experts fear the virus could spread to other countries in the
West Africa region. Samples tested in Mali, Ghana and Sierra Leone
have been negative so far.
The WHO said on Tuesday it could take two to four months to contain
the "challenging" outbreak, the first in the region.
Keiji Fukuda, the WHO's assistant director-general, told reporters
the virus tends to transmit more easily in cities, which is
complicating control measures.
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"Once you get into populations which are dense and people are
interacting with each other in a close way in a way that you do in
cities, it can it make easier for the infection to transmit," he
"It can also make it more difficult to actually identify contacts.
Because everyone you have contact with is not necessarily people
that you are going to know.
"So these things tend to be a little bit easier when we are in a
rural setting and we have a less dense population."
(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; editing by Kate Kelland and Toby
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