(CNN) — Since February 49 people have gotten sick and 29 have died from an unidentified illness characterized by fever, diarrhea and vomiting in Guinea, according to the West African nation’s minister of health, Remy Lamah.
Lamah said initial test results confirm the presence of a viral hemorrhagic fever, which according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention refers to a group of viruses that affect multiple organ systems in the body.
The Guinean health ministry warned in a statement that the disease is mainly spread from infected people, objects belonging to ill or dead people and by the consumption of meat from animals in the bush.
So far, most of the cases have been in the forest area of southern Guinea, and health officials say they are offering free treatment for all patients.
They’ve urged people to stay calm, wash their hands and report all cases to authorities.
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