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Stolen Ebola blood 'lost for good' says Guinea

Stolen Ebola blood lost for good says Guinea
A gang of robbers held up a taxi last week near the town of Kissidougou which was transporting the sample from central Kankan prefecture to southern Gueckedou, around 265 kilometres (165 miles) away.

'We are confident of not being able to find this cooler. With the media attention around the case, we are confident that the bandits would have got rid of it,' said Fode Tass Sylla, spokesman for the government's Ebola response unit.

Tass said the virus would not have survived in the sample, although studies have shown that it can last in fluids for several weeks if it is not kept in direct sunlight.

Guinea authorities have appealed to the robbers to return the sample, taken from a patient's mouth shortly after they died. The incident has spread alarm over the safety of transporting samples of the highly virulent pathogen, which is estimated to kill around 70 percent of those it infects.

'Most of the samples collected in Guinea in recent times come to us via public transport,' said Sakoba Keita, the minister in charge of the government's Ebola response in Guinea.
Agencies

Agencies

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