Ebola spreads to Guinea capital

To date the 62 confirmed deaths have only been in rural areas.

A man disinfects protection material stored at a warehouse of the Swiss branch of Doctors Without Borders-MSF in Conakry before being used on areas plagued with the Ebola haemorrhagic fever. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Guinea's government has for the first time confirmed cases of the deadly Ebola virus in the capital Conakry.

Until now the 62 confirmed deaths have only been in rural areas.

There have also been suspected cases in neighbouring Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The spread of Ebola to Conakry, a city of some two million people, marks an escalation of the outbreak in one of the world's poorest nations.

It is believed to have be brought to the capital by the brothers of a man who died in the remote south east of the country.

Ebola kills between 25 and 90 percent of its victims.

Earlier this week the health ministry banned the sale and consumption of bats, a local delicacy, thought to be carriers of the disease.

Meanwhile, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) says the risk of the Ebola virus coming to South Africa is slim.

The institute has warned health officials to monitor travellers coming in and out of the country from Guinea.

"It seems to be confined at the moment to the south eastern districts which are very remote areas. The risk of importation of Ebola in returning travellers must be very small indeed so there is no warning that it is coming to South Africa."