Ebola hits Guinea's capital Conakry, 8 infected

People walk in front of the Ignace Deen hospital in Conakry on March 27, 2014. Guinea battled to contain an Ebola epidemic threatening neighboring countries as fear and confusion gripped communities under siege from one of the deadliest viruses known to mankind.

Health officials in the West African nation of Guinea say they're now treating eight cases of Ebola in the capital, Conakry.

Dr. Sakoba Keita, a spokesman for the health ministry, announced on national television that the virus had reached the city of 3 million.

Already at least 70 people have died in the country's south since the Ebola outbreak began last week. The highly infectious virus causes hemorrhagic fever in its victims, with a fatality rate of up to 90 percent.

Ebola is a deadly virus that is characterized by symptoms including fever, headaches, joint and muscle aches, diarrhea, vomiting, rashes, difficulty breathing and swallowing, and bleeding inside and outside the body.

Keita said the new cases involved patients who had been in contact with the body of one of the earlier victims. He said health officials on Friday were seeking to quarantine anyone who took part in the burials.

Some disease may have been caused by consuming bats -- which are local delicacies -- according to LiveScience, which cited Guinean officials who took the step to ban the practice.

"We discovered the vector [infectious] agent of the Ebola virus is the bat," Remy Lamah, the country's health minister, told Bloomberg News earlier this week. "We sent messages everywhere to announce the ban... They are very dangerous animals."

The first outbreak of the Ebola virus since 1994 in this part of West Africa has raised alarm in neighboring countries as well.

Authorities in neighboring Liberia are also investigating several suspected cases.

Previous Ebola outbreaks have been reported in Congo and Uganda, most recently in 2012 when 24 people were infected, including 17 deaths.