Ebola:GUINEA BORDERS TO STAY OPEN

Guinea said earlier on Saturday at a news conference attended by four government ministers that it had closed its borders with Sierra Leone and Liberia to halt the spread of Ebola.

Authorities said the decision was taken primarily to prevent infected people crossing into Guinea, where at least 367 people have died of Ebola since March and 18 others are being treated in isolation.

However, state television later said the borders remained open, in an about-face that appeared to highlight the difficulties governments face in coordinating policy in the face of the fast-moving outbreak.

“Guinea has not closed its borders with Sierra Leone or with Liberia. It’s rather that we have taken health measures at the border posts,” the television channel said.

A government source said the minister who made the original announcement had not been in possession of accurate information.

Ebola is one of the deadliest diseases known to humanity. It has no proven cure and there is no vaccine to prevent infection. The most effective treatment involves alleviating symptoms that include fever, vomiting and diarrhoea.

The rigorous use of quarantine is needed to prevent its spread, as well as high standards of hygiene for anyone who might come into contact with the disease.

These measures have proved hard to enforce given that Ebola has spread in rural parts of some of the world’s poorest countries. The task is made harder because of mistrust of health workers in areas with inadequate public health services.

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Dan Mullin is an active writer and editor for the Pluto Daily who covered the 2014 Ebola Outbreak. Mullin attended the Wake Forest School of Medicine before leaving to pursue his lifelong science goal of allowing humans to live forever via a computer/brain transfer.