The outbreak of the Ebola virus, a flu-like disease for which there is no vaccine, had appeared under control, at least according to officials from Guinea. A week after that claim was made, the "outbreak that began months ago in the forested villages of southeast Guinea and shot to the capital city," shows no signs of slowing down.
It has dominated headlines in Africa since. The World Health Organization, which says it may spread for months, cautions that more deaths could be on the way. As the incubation period for [Ebola] can be up to three weeks, it is likely that the Guinean health authorities will report new cases in the coming weeks and additional suspected cases may also be identified in neighboring countries, the WHO reported on Tuesday.
The disease, for which there is no cure, is terrifying in part because of the gruesome way it kills. It predominantly spreads through blood, secretions and other bodily fluids. At first, the WHO says, symptoms include intense weakness and fever, but then the sickness deepens with bouts of diarrhea, vomiting, and internal and external bleeding.
There are several theories explaining the outbreak, Africas worst in seven years and the first to kill in the continents west. One was published last week in the New England Journal that established the emergence of a new EBOV strain in Guinea, which had evolved in parallel to other disease veins.
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