Chief Medical Officer, Sierra Leone Ministry of Health, Dr Brima Kargbo, said on Wednesday in Freetown that 46 people had died of the Ebola virus in the country.
He said as at Wednesday there were 163 confirmed cases of Ebola, while 15 patients had been discharged from the Government Hospital in Kenema.
Kargbo said that most of the affected were close relatives of those who had died from the disease.
He said that 142 out of the 163 cases were from the Kailahun District.
“It is a disease of contact and those affected range from three years to over 60 years or more. If only people report to hospitals without delay, their chances of survival are high,” he said.
Kargbo said the outbreak had become worrisome because the type of Ebola strain appeared to be different from the one in DR Congo and for this 30 blood samples of the strain to Harvard University for identification.
He said that government had warned that any person shielding suspected Ebola patients were violating the law.
Kargbo said that the warning had become imperative because there were reports of suspected Ebola patients being hidden in the houses of their families.
“Such act creates a potential risk for the spread of Ebola disease among families and the country at large,” he said.
“Members of the public are advised to report any suspected Ebola case to appropriate health authorities for timely and appropriate treatment with the view of averting the spread of the disease,” he added.
A report from Kailahun said the area remained tensed and had come to a standstill.
It said that the outbreak had forced the Ministry of Education to postpone the Basic Education certificate examinations.