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Ebola lockdown workers find dozens of cases


One hundred thirty new cases of Ebola were identified during a three-day lockdown in Sierra Leone, Stephen Gaojia, the country’s head of emergency operations, said Monday.

Officials are awaiting tests on another 39 potential cases, he said. During the lockdown from Friday through Sunday, no one was allowed to leave home.

More than 75% of the targeted 1.5 million households were contacted, according to the Health Ministry.

The latest report from the World Health Organization, released Monday, says at least 2,803 people have died during the Ebola outbreak in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. In these three countries — the hardest hit by the epidemic — there have been at least 5,843 confirmed, probable or suspected cases. The death toll includes victims in all three categories.

The first Ebola case was documented in December.

The WHO is also tracking the virus in Senegal and Nigeria, where a much smaller number of cases have been confirmed. Only one case was confirmed in Senegal, and no deaths have been reported. In addition, the WHO reported, all of those believed to have been in contact with the infected person have completed follow-up evaluations with no further Ebola cases confirmed.

The virus is spread through contact with bodily fluids, and early symptoms include sudden onset of fever, weakness, muscle pain, headaches and a sore throat.

The virus is named after the Ebola River in the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire), where one of the first outbreaks occurred in 1976.