CONAKRY, April 19 (Xinhua) -- Sixty-one people have been killed by the Ebola virus in Guinea since the virulent disease broke out in January, said the Guinean Ministry of Health on Saturday.
The ministry also said there have been 109 confirmed cases of the Ebola virus disease for the whole country.
Speaking to the press on Saturday, Dr Sakoba Keita, the Guinean health ministry official leading the fight against the Ebola virus disease, said Guinean and international experts established the number of the confirmed cases after conducting biological tests on the suspected cases recorded in the West African country from January to April.
"The biological analysis can be achieved henceforth quickly," said Keita, adding that from now on the toll will only take into account the confirmed cases.
There have been 15 deaths out of 36 suspected cases in capital Conakry while the southern town of Gueckedou has seen 36 deaths out of 56 confirmed cases. In Macenta, a town in southeastern Guinea, two people have died with 13 confirmed cases. There has also been one death in the southern city of Kissidougou and in the central city of Dabola respectively.
In an Ebola status update posted on its website on Saturday, the World Health Organization (WHO) said as of April 17, the Guinean Ministry of Health has reported a total of 203 clinical cases of the Ebola virus disease, including 129 deaths.
"To date, 158 patients have been tested for ebolavirus infection and 109 cases have been laboratory confirmed, including 61 deaths," said the WHO.
First discovered in 1976 in two simultaneous outbreaks in Sudan and in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo), the Ebola virus was named after the Ebola River where the DR Congo outbreak was found in a nearby village.
There is still no cure for the deadly Ebola virus disease which has an incubation period between two and 21 days and carries a fatality rate of up to 90 percent.
The WHO defines the Ebola virus disease, formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever, as "a severe, often fatal illness" and "one of the world's most virulent diseases."