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Johannesburg - South Africa has sent condolences to those in Guinea affected by an Ebola haemorrhagic fever outbreak, the international relations department said on Thursday.
It lauded officials of the Guinean health department, the World Health Organisation, and Doctors without Borders for their work to contain the outbreak.
“South Africa also notes the efforts undertaken by the government of the Republic of Guinea to contain the spreading of the virus to neighbouring countries,” the department said.
It expressed confidence that the public health emergency would be brought under control.
German news agency DPA reported earlier that the death toll in Guinea had risen to at least 83, with 127 Ebola cases having been confirmed.
Eleven of those cases had been registered in the capital, Conakry, the health ministry reportedly said.
Medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors without Borders) warned the outbreak was “unprecedented” because the spread of the disease across the small West African nation made it very difficult to control.
“We are facing an epidemic of a magnitude never before seen in terms of the distribution of cases in the country,” MSF project co-ordinator Mariano Lugli was quoted as saying.
President Alpha Conde announced a “health emergency”, but criticised Guinea's northern neighbour Senegal, which closed its borders to protect its population from the virus, for “causing panic”.
In Liberia, to Guinea's south-east, at least two people died from the virus. The health ministry announced at least 11 suspected cases last week.
Ebola is one of the most contagious viral diseases known, often resulting in death.
The virus cannot be prevented with a vaccine and is untreatable with medication.