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Russia to set up Ebola research lab in Guinea
August 20, 2014, 1:40 pm

A medical worker is seen outside an Ebola treatment center at the government hospital in Kenema, east of Sierra Leone, Aug. 18, 2014 [Xinhua]

A medical worker is seen outside an Ebola treatment center at the government hospital in Kenema, east of Sierra Leone, Aug. 18, 2014 [Xinhua]

Even as fatalities from the world’s worst outbreak of Ebola rose above 1,200 in Liberia Guinea, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, Russia on Wednesday said it will organize an Ebola research laboratory in Guinea to fight the deadly virus.

Russian scientists would “work in the field and help in the fight against Ebola using special medical diagnostics,” Alexander Semyonov, head of virology at St. Petersburg’s Pasteur Scientific Research Institute was quoted by Ria Novosti on Wednesday.

Several dozen Russian scientists will reach Guinea this week to set up a laboratory, deployed using KamAZ trucks at a campground.

China has also sent medical experts and an almost $5 million aid fund to the worst affected countries – Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. It has also dispatched supplies include protective clothes, gloves, disinfectants, thermo-detectors and medicines.

An Al Jazeera TV report said earlier this week, Guinea companies, expatriates, investors and tourists are fleeing as the country bears the brunt of Ebola in West Africa.

WHO has warned the outbreak is much larger than anything ever seen before but said travel and trade bans should not be directed at Ebola-hit nations.

The Ebola virus, also referred to as Ebola hemorrhagic fever because of one of its most visible symptoms, is an incurable disease with a very high fatality rate. It was first identified in 1976.

Some doctors have noted a fatality rate of at least 60 per cent, but WHO says that can be as high as 90 per cent.

Symptoms can appear as early as two days (and as late as three weeks) from infection and first include headaches, sudden weakness, severe fever and chills, throat and muscle pains. This is followed by vomiting and diarrhea.

The virus is known to debilitate multiple organ systems, leading to bleeding – or hemorrhaging.

 

 TBP and Agencies

 

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