“The WHO in Geneva contacted the health department to select as quickly as possible specialists who could go to Guinea-Bissau, and we responded positively", the department’s general director Francisco George, told Lusa News Agency.

“We immediately selected four specialists to be contacted by the WHO”, he added.

Guinea-Bissau has had a laboratory since March that was installed by Portugal, where specialists from the Portuguese medical emergency institute (INEM) and the Portuguese national health institute (INSA) can detect Ebola virus in samples within five hours.

Five new cases of Ebola have been detected in a town in the north of Guinea Conakry, near the border with Guinea-Bissau, the WHO said last week.

Because of the proximity, "a local response team was sent to the border to assess the entry posts", the WHO said.