Baku-APA. Forty-six people have died of the ebola virus in the West African state of Sierra Leone, the Chief Medical Officer in Ministry of Health Brima Kargbo said Wednesday, APA reports quoting Xinhua.
"There are now 163 confirmed cases of ebola while 15 patients have been discharged from the Government Hospital in Kenema," Kargbo said most of the affected are "close relatives of those who have died from the disease", adding that 142 out of the 163 cases are from the Kailahun District.
"It is a disease of contact and those affected range from three years to over 60 years or more. If only people report to hospitals without delay, their chances of survival are high," said Kargbo.
"So far the type of ebola strain appears to be different from the one in DR Congo and this is why we have sent 30 blood samples of the ebola strain to Harvard University for identification," Kargbo stated.
Meanwhile, a government statement issued Wednesday has warned that "any person shielding suspected ebola patients are violating the law."
This statement was issued following reports of suspected ebola patients being hidden in the houses of their families.
"Such act creates a potential risk for the spread of ebola disease among families and the country at large," the statement said.
"Members of the public are advised to report any suspected ebola case to appropriate health authorities for timely and appropriate treatment with the view of averting the spread of the disease," the statement added.
Local reporters in Kailahun (in the east) in a telephone interview by Xinhua said the area remains tense and the entire area has come to a standstill.
The Principal in the Ahmadiyya Secodary School in Kailahun, Momodu Momoh said all social and economic gatherings have temporarily put to a hold. He noted that the sensitization has played a very significant impact as the people have now come to realise that "ebola is real".
The head of the local FM Radio Moa Station, Foday Sajuma said that "residents are now turning over suspected ebola cases to health officials for laboratory tests."
"Health officials are no longer attacked and eveyone is operating on a common level," he said in an interview.
The Ministry of Education has meanwhile postponed the Basic Education certificate exams, (BECE) in the country to August 2014.