Ebola-hit Guinea calls for calm after attack on aid group

Guinea appealed for calm in the Ebola-hit south of the country on Saturday after international aid workers battling to contain an outbreak of the deadly virus were attacked by a mob.

Doctors without Borders, which goes by its French initials MSF, was forced to suspend treatment in Macenta in southeastern Guinea on Friday after crowds attacked one of its centres. Conakry said the crowd had gathered as rumours circulated in the town that the virus was “imported into Guinea or that Ebola fever does not exist in our country”.

Health authorities have reported 137 suspected or confirmed Ebola cases since the beginning of the year, of which 86 have been fatal.

Several west African countries have geared up to tackle killer haemorrhagic fevers including Ebola as new suspect cases emerged in Mali, along with Liberia and Sierra Leone.

A rare but extremely dangerous virus, Ebola is historically rooted in central Africa and has never before spread amongst humans in the west of the continent.

MSF has described the outbreak as an “unprecedented epidemic” and warned the unusual geographical spread of cases complicates the task of containing it “enormously”.