Death toll from Guinea haemorrhagic fever rises to 29

CONAKRY Fri Mar 21, 2014 4:38pm EDT

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CONAKRY (Reuters) - The death toll from an outbreak of a haemorrhagic fever in Guinea's southeastern forest region has climbed to 29, while the number of cases has risen to 49, a health ministry official in the west African country said on Friday.

Sakoba Keita, in charge of the prevention of epidemics, said preliminary results from tests carried out in France to identify the disease were so far inconclusive.

"However, we are narrowing it down to Ebola and Marburg Haemorrhagic Fever (MHF)," Keita said.

The two highly lethal diseases are caused by similar viruses that are among the most virulent pathogens known to infect humans, the World Health Organization says on its website.

The first case of the outbreak in Guinea was reported on February 9. Cases have been recorded in three southeastern towns and

in the capital Conakry.

(Reporting by Saliou Samb; Writing by Bate Felix; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)

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