Officials say Ebola outbreak could last months

FILE -In this Saturday, Sept. 29, 2007, file photo, A 43 year old Congolese patient, center, who has been confirmed to have Ebola hemorrhagic fever, following laboratory tests, is comforted by Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors without Borders) nurse Isabel Grovas, left, and Doctor Hilde Declerck, right, in Kampungu, Kasai Occidental province, Congo. An outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus is believed to have killed at least 59 people in Guinea and may already have spread to neighboring Liberia, health officials said Monday, March 25, 2014. (AP Photo/WHO, Christopher Black, HO, File)
FILE -In this Saturday, Sept. 29, 2007, file photo, A 43 year old Congolese patient, center, who has been confirmed to have Ebola hemorrhagic fever, following laboratory tests, is comforted by Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors without Borders) nurse Isabel Grovas, left, and Doctor Hilde Declerck, right, in Kampungu, Kasai Occidental province, Congo. An outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus is believed to have killed at least 59 people in Guinea and may already have spread to neighboring Liberia, health officials said Monday, March 25, 2014. (AP Photo/WHO, Christopher Black, HO, File)

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) – Health officials say the Ebola outbreak in West Africa could last for months in what they called one of the most challenging episodes of the disease that the international community has faced.

Dr. Keiji Fukuda of the World Health Organization said Tuesday that the current outbreak is especially difficult because of the wide area over which it has spread – extending from Guinea’s tropical forests to its capital and over the border into Liberia. But officials also emphasized that they have traced the source of transmission in every sick person, an important step in controlling the disease.

More than 100 deaths have been linked to the virus since the outbreak began earlier this year.

Fukuda said he expected the outbreak to continue for another two to four months.

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