MARAMPA, Sierra Leone, June 3 (UPI) -- Five people in Sierra Leone have died since an outbreak of the Ebola virus was reported recently, prompting a British mining company to remove its staff from the country Tuesday.
There are approximately 50 suspected cases of the incurable and contagious disease in Sierra Leone. The neighboring country of Guinea has experienced over 100 deaths due to the outbreak, and Liberia has also reported cases.
The iron ore mining firm London Mining ordered its non-essential staff to return from the West African country to Britain on Tuesday because of the virus. Still, operations at its mine in Marampa continue, and the company said in a statement that none of its staff are known to have the disease. The company added it is monitoring the health of all its employees.
London Mining is one of two large mining companies in Sierra Leone, and the first to report an evacuation of employees.
Ebola is spread by contact with infected blood, bodily fluids, or through contact with contaminated environments. Symptoms include bleeding, diarrhea and vomiting. There is no cure, and the illness kills up to 90 percent of victims.
Some infected Sierra Leone residents have been treated by faith healers, an action that likely has spread the disease.