Events in West Africa are moving very quickly, and I'm trying to piece together a very rough chronology. So far, it runs something like this:
February 9: An undiagnosed disease breaks out in southeast Guinea, either in Guéckédou or Macenta, two towns with busy markets.
By March 20, when I first hear about it, it's in both those towns. Case total is now 36, with 23 deaths. Guéckédu is the harder hit, with 19 cases and 13 deaths. But Macenta has lost 4 healthcare workers as well as 6 other persons.
On March 21, Health Minister Lamah declares a "viral hemorrhagic fever epidemic." He says the disease is now in Kissidougou, near the first two towns, and also in Conakry, the capital—a considerable distance from the original outbreak. He says they are now dealing with 49 cases and 29 deaths. So that's 13 new cases and 6 deaths in a day.
This morning, March 22, Guinea's Ministry of Health and Public Hygiene announces that the disease is confirmed to be Ebola. The case count is now 49 cases with 34 deaths: 5 new deaths overnight.
About an hour ago, just after 3:00 p.m. PST, another Reuters report says Sierra Leone authorities are investigating the death of a 14-year-old boy in the town of Buedu, very close to the Guinea border and the town of Guéckédu.
And just half an hour ago, a reader named Henrik leaves a comment saying his daughter, a doctor in Foya, Liberia, reports one confirmed Ebola deaths and has heard that Ebola is in Monrovia, the capital.
It's now 11:15 p.m. in Conakry, and I don't know if we'll get any more reports from Guinea or its neighbours until Sunday morning, their time. But this has certainly been an eventful day.