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DAKAR, Senegal — The Ebola death toll in Guinea has risen to 80, while 122 suspected cases have been registered, health authorities said Tuesday.

The outbreak was “unprecedented” because the spread of the disease across the small West African nation made it very difficult to control, the medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres warned.

“We are facing an epidemic of a magnitude never before seen in terms of the distribution of cases in the country,” said the groups’ project coordinator, Mariano Lugli.

President Alpha Conde announced a “health emergency,” but snubbed Guinea’s northern neighbor Senegal, which closed its borders to protect its population from the virus, for “causing panic.”

In Liberia, to Guinea’s southeast, at least two people have died from the virus. The health ministry announced at least 11 suspected cases last week.

Ebola is one of the most contagious viral diseases known, often resulting in death. The virus cannot be prevented with a vaccine and is untreatable with medication.

Photo via Wikimedia commons

Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.