At least seven patients infected with Ebola virus in Guinea have recovered well enough to return home, the BBC reports. The medical charity Medicins San Frontieres (MSF) confirmed the patients had managed to shake the virus despite its high mortality rate.
Global health officials say the outbreak in West Africa has killed over two-thirds of the people infected so far, including 101 in Guinea and 10 in Liberia. MSF and the World Health Organization, which has labeled the outbreak one of the “most challenging” ever, have been trying to help Guinea’s health ministry prevent the virus from further spread.
MSF spokesman Sam Taylor called the homecomings “great news” for the patients’ families and communities that would improve “everyone’s morale.” But that’s a tall order when, during past outbreaks, the sick were abandoned by loved ones and survivors were still shunned.
The Ebola virus is passed on through contact with infected fluids like blood, sweat and urine and has been known to kill up to 90 percent of sick patients. There is no cure, but some deaths can be prevented if the virus is caught and treated early.
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