CONAKRY - The death toll from an outbreak of a hemorrhagic fever in Guinea's southeastern forest
region has climbed to 29, while the number of cases has risen to 49, a health ministry official in the west African country said on Friday.

Sakoba Keita, in charge of the prevention of epidemics, said preliminary results from tests carried out in France to identify the disease were so far inconclusive. "However, we are narrowing it down to Ebola and Marburg Hemorrhagic Fever (MHF)," Keita said.

The two highly lethal diseases are caused by similar viruses that are among the most virulent pathogens known to infect humans, the World Health Organisation says on its website.

The first case of the outbreak in Guinea was reported on Feb. 9. Cases have been recorded in three southeastern towns and in the capital Conakry.