Colds and flu

Updated 04 July 2014

Unexplained heamorrhagic fever kills 23 in Guinea

Hemorrhagic fever has killed at least 23 people in Guinea in West Africa. Symptoms are diarrhoea and vomiting with a very high fever.


An outbreak of heamorrhagic fever has killed at least 23 people in Guinea's South-eastern forest region since February when the first case was reported, health authorities in the West African nation said.

At least 35 cases have been recorded by local health officials, said Sakoba Keita, the doctor in charge of the prevention of epidemics in Guinea's Health Ministry.

"Symptoms appear as diarrhoea and vomiting, with a very high fever. Some cases showed relatively heavy bleeding," Keita said.

Read: Heavy bleeding: the key facts

"We thought it was Lassa fever or another form of cholera but this disease seems to strike like lightning. We are looking at all possibilities, including Ebola, because bushmeat is consumed in that region and Guinea is in the Ebola belt," he said. No cases of the highly contagious Ebola fever have ever been recorded in the country.

Keita said most of the victims had been in contact with the deceased or had handled the bodies. He said those infected had been isolated and samples had been sent to Senegal and France for further tests.

More than half of the mineral-rich nation's 11.4 million people live on less than $1 a day and many lack access to basic medical facilities and qualified medical staff.

Read more:

Crimean-Congo heamorrhagic fever

Heamorrhagic disease


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Dr Heidi van Deventer completed her MBChB (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) degree in 2004 at the University of Stellenbosch.
She has additional training in ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) and PALS (Paediatric Advanced Life Support) as well as biostatistics and epidemiology.

Dr Van Deventer is currently working as a researcher at the Desmond Tutu Tuberculosis Centre at the University of Stellenbosch.

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