Ebola virus spreads to area near AngloGold mine in Guinea

October 20, 2014

The Ebola virus has spread to within 30 km (19 miles) of AngloGold’s Siguiri gold mine, Bloomberg reported.

The Ministry of Health and AngloGold said in statements that the disease has spread to areas close to the mine but that employees haven’t been infected and operations continue, the mining company said.

The death toll in Guinea has risen to 887 since the outbreak started in December, the ministry said in its statement. More than 4,500 people have died in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, hurting the economies of the three nations and threatening to slow growth in West Africa.

“We continue to strengthen surveillance and we conduct daily monitoring checks on all employees,” AngloGold spokesman Chris Nthite said in an e-mailed response to questions. “Some of our employees live in Siguiri.”

AngloGold’s Siguiri project is located in a relatively remote district about 850 km northeast of Conakry, the nation’s capital, according to the company’s website. The facility employed 3,674 people last year, about half of them contractors.

The company is working with local health authorities and the World Health Organization to manage its response to the disease, Nthite said. Travel from the site to the town is “being done on a strictly controlled basis,” he said.

Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf said Oct. 17 that the world has finally “woken up” to the threat of Ebola and must commit the necessary resources to containment efforts.
 

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