CONAKRY - Guinea faces an Ebola epidemic on an unprecedented scale as it battles to contain confirmed cases now scattered across several locations that are far apart, medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres said on Monday.
The warning from an organization used to tackling Ebola in Central Africa comes after Guinea's president appealed for calm as the number of deaths linked to an outbreak on the border with Liberia and Sierra Leone hit 80.
The outbreak of one of the world's most lethal infectious diseases has spooked a number of governments with weak health systems, prompting Senegal to close its border with Guinea and other neighbours to restrict travel and cross-border exchanges.
Figures released overnight by Guinea's health ministry showed that there had been 78 deaths from 122 cases of suspected Ebola since January, up from 70. Of these, there were 22 laboratory confirmed cases of Ebola, the ministry said.
"We are facing an epidemic of a magnitude never before seen in terms of the distribution of cases in the country," said Mariano Lugli, coordinator of MSF's project in Conakry.