Ebola outbreak leaves 337 dead, spreads across West Africa

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) has reported over 330 deaths caused by an Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

Though the initial outbreak of Ebola, considered one of the world’s deadliest viruses, was recorded in the region in February 2014, it has subsequently spread throughout West Africa.

Recently, seven people died in Monrovia, Liberia, due to the virus. The virus has also affected others in Guinea and Sierra Leone, with over 500 cases reported.

“This is a complex outbreak involving multiple locations in three countries with a lot of cross-border movement among the communities,” Fadela Chaib, a spokeswoman for the UN health agency said in a statement.

“This makes this one of the challenging Ebola outbreaks ever,” she added.

Map of affected areas in West Africa (infographic: Center for Disease Control)

Currently, there is neither a cure nor vaccine for the deadly virus.

The WHO has reported that they are beginning to implement preventative measures in order to stall the epidemic.

Symptoms of the Ebola virus include nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, fever, fatigue, coma, and seizures. Consequently, the virus develops into the Ebola Virus Disease, which causes multiple organ dysfunction, hypotension, disseminated intravascular coagulation, haemorrhaging, and eventual death due to bleeding from the nose, gums, gastrointestinal tract, and vagina.

The typical period between contracting the virus and death is generally 13 to 28 days.

The last reported outbreak occurred in 2012 in Uganda.