DAKAR/CONAKRY - Senegal closed its land border with Guinea on Saturday to try to prevent the spread of the Ebola virus, which Guinean authorities say is suspected of killing 70 people in the deadliest outbreak in seven years.
The discovery of 11 people suspected to have died of Ebola in Sierra Leone and Liberia in recent days has stirred concern that one of the most lethal infectious diseases known to man could spread in a poor corner of West Africa, where health systems are ill-equipped to cope.
Senegal's Interior Ministry said in a statement it had closed the land border with Guinea in the southern region of Kolda and the southeastern region of Kedougou.
"The governors of these regions have taken all the necessary steps to implement this decision," said the communique.
Senegalese authorities said on Friday they would introduce sanitary checks on flights between Dakar and the Guinean capital Conakry, where eight cases of Ebola have been confirmed, including one death.
West African foreign ministers said at a conference in Ivory Coast this week that the outbreak was a "threat to regional security".