toll from Ebola in Sierra Leone more than doubles to 12
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[June 10, 2014]
By Umaru Fofana
FREETOWN (Reuters) - The
death toll from Ebola in Sierra Leone has doubled to at
least 12 in a week, local health authorities said on
Monday, deepening the spread of a disease that has
killed over 200 people in Guinea and Liberia.
The mounting deaths in Sierra Leone, which had been spared cases for
months after Ebola was confirmed in the region in March, underscore
the challenges weak health systems face tackling one of the
deadliest diseases on the planet.
Amara Jambai, Sierra Leone's Director of Disease Prevention and
Control, said all the confirmed deaths in Sierra Leone were in the
east, mainly in the Kailahun district on the border with Guinea.
"It is very difficult for us to ascertain community deaths at this
moment, but the 12 deaths are the ones the hospital can definitely
confirm to have died of Ebola," Jambai said.
Jambai added that there were now 42 confirmed cases of Ebola from
113 people tested and new cases had been recorded in the northern
district of Kambia.
Ebola was confirmed in a remote corner of Guinea in March and then
later spread to Guinea's distant capital, Conakry, and over the
border into Liberia.
All suspected cases in Sierra Leone tested negative until last month
and Jambai said that the disease was spreading as authorities are
struggling to control the movement of people.
International medical experts have been dispatched to Sierra Leone
but they face a combination of poor existing health systems and
tensions among locals fueled by the lack of understanding over the
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Two weeks ago, relatives removed an Ebola patient from a treatment
center in Koindu as they doubted the disease existed.
Iron ore producers London Mining and African Minerals have imposed
some restrictions on staff in Sierra Leone as a result of the
outbreak but the firms say their output has so far not been
(Writing by David Lewis; Editing by Alexandra Hudson)
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