S Leone declares Ebola emergency

Freetown, Sierra Leone -

The Sierra Leone government has announced a state of emergency in the Kailahun district from the outbreak of the Ebola virus which has claimed 17 lives in this West African nation.

In this image provided by Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders), health-care workers from MSF prepare isolation and treatment areas for their Ebola patients in Gueckedou, Guinea. Picture: Kjell Gunnar Beraas, MSF. Credit: Associated Press

According to government figures released on Thursday, there are 46 confirmed cases and another 122 suspected ones in the district near the border with Liberia.

The statement on Wednesday night said all schools will be closed to minimise transmission, while public gatherings including cinemas and night clubs would be prohibited.

At least 231 people have died since the outbreak of the fearsome disease, which causes bleeding internally and externally and for which there is no known cure. Guinea, where the outbreak began, has recorded just over 200 deaths.

It has also spread to Liberia, which has recorded around a dozen deaths. - Sapa-AP