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Report: Outbreak may have started with 2-year-old boy in Guinea


08-13-2014 12:48 BJT

Full coverage: Ebola Outbreak in West Africa

The worst outbreak of Ebola ever seen, may have started with a 2-year-old boy in a village in Guinea. According to a report published in The New England Journal of Medicine, about eight months ago, the toddler suffered from a fever, black stools and vomiting. Just four days after showing the painful symptoms, the child died on December 6th, 2013. Scientists don’t know exactly how the toddler contracted the virus.

According to WHO, Ebola is spread from animals to humans through infected fluids or tissue. Researchers who published the paper this year found a chain of illnesses in the toddler’s family.

After the child’s death, the mother suffered bleeding symptoms and died on December 13th. Then, the toddler’s 3-year-old sister died on the 29th, with symptoms including fever, vomiting and black diarrhea. The illness subsequently affected the toddler’s grandmother, who died on January 1st, in the family’s village of Meliandou.

The area in southern Guinea is close to the Sierra Leone and Liberia borders.

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