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Airline suspends Sierra Leone, Liberia flights amid Ebola scare

DAKAR - West African airline Asky has suspended flights to and from Sierra Leone and Liberia amid increasing concern at the spread of the deadly Ebola virus in the region, it said on its Web site.

Ebola is believed to have killed 672 people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone since the outbreak began some time in February, according to the World Health Organization. The contagious disease, which has no known cure, has symptoms that include vomiting, diarrhea and internal and external bleeding.

Togo-based Asky said it would no longer take on food in Guinea, where the outbreak was first identified in March. It said that passengers leaving the Guinean capital Conakry would be checked for signs of the disease before departure.

The airline added that medical teams would be deployed to screen passengers in transit through its Lome hub.

Concern over the spread of the virus has increased after the first death was reported last week in Nigeria's coastal city of Lagos, home to 21 million people. The victim was a Liberian who traveled to Nigeria on Asky via Lome.

Nigeria's largest air carrier Arik Air suspended flights to Liberia and Sierra Leone because of the Ebola risk, a spokesman confirmed on Monday.