June 17, 2014 / 1:02 PM / 5 years ago

Ebola kills at least four in Liberia's capital

A scientist separates blood cells from plasma cells to isolate any Ebola RNA in order to test for the virus at the European Mobile Laboratory in Gueckedou April 3, 2014. REUTERS/Misha Hussain

DAKAR (Reuters) - At least four people have died from Ebola in Liberia’s capital, a World Health Organization (WHO) and a government official said on Tuesday, the first confirmed deaths in Monrovia from a months-long regional outbreak.

“There are seven cases reported in one of the suburbs of Monrovia and four are confirmed. They are all dead,” said WHO’s country representative Nestor Ndayimirije.

He said that the new Monrovia cases had been linked to a woman who arrived from neighboring Sierra Leone about a fortnight ago.

A health ministry report on June 11 showed there were then 30 suspected and confirmed cases in Liberia.

Thomas Nagbe, Director of Disease Prevention and Control Division at Liberia’s Health Ministry, said that there were four dead from Ebola in the capital and four other deaths from suspected cases.

“We never had the opportunity to confirm the other four because they died and were buried before we got to know,” said Nagbe, adding that one of the dead was a health worker.

The regional outbreak of Ebola, a tropical virus that kills around 90 percent of its victims, first began in southern Guinea in February.

Since then more than 200 people have died in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia and new cases are still being reported despite Conakry’s claims that the situation is being brought under control.

Reporting by Emma Farge and Bate Felix; Editing by Daniel Flynn

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