A health official says seven people believed to have the Ebola virus have died in recent days in the Liberian capital, in the first reported deaths in Monrovia.
Deputy Health Minister Tolbert Nyenswah told The Associated Press on Tuesday that brings to 16 the number of people believed to have died from the virus in the West African country since the outbreak began.
The deaths are worrying because no new cases had been confirmed in Liberia in more than two months.
The outbreak appears to have begun in neighboring Guinea and has also spread to Sierra Leone. In all, the World Health Organization says nearly 250 people have died of the virus, which causes severe bleeding and high fever.
Ebola first appeared in West Africa earlier this year, worrying World Health Organization officials because cities were involved. People cross borders frequently in the region, and cases have been reported in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.