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Report: Ebola Far Deadlier for Young Children

  • VOA News

FILE - A health care worker, right, takes the temperatures of school children for signs of the Ebola virus before they enter their school in the city of Conakry, Guinea.

FILE - A health care worker, right, takes the temperatures of school children for signs of the Ebola virus before they enter their school in the city of Conakry, Guinea.

Ebola appears to do its damage worse in young children than it does in adults, killing 90 percent of children under the age of one who become infected, a new study has found.

The joint study by the World Health Organization and Imperial College London found that, although infection rates are lower in children than adults, babies and toddlers who get the disease have a far slimmer chance of survival.

The virus, which causes haemorrhagic fever and induces internal and external bleeding, is killing 90 percent of infants in the current outbreak and around 80 percent of children ages between one to four years, the scientists found.

More than 23,000 people have contracted Ebola and more than 10,000 have died since the outbreak began more than a year ago. The West African nations of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia have been hardest hit.

Also Wednesday, the WHO said while the outbreak seems be coming under control, Guinea remains a concern.

Seventy-nine new confirmed cases of Ebola were reported in the three countries during the week, the lowest weekly total recorded this year. However, 45 of them were in Guinea. Liberia suffered a setback, reporting its first new case in three weeks.

The WHO cautioned that authorities have yet to pin down and isolate the sources of new cases. It urged all parties to remain vigilant.

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