Ebola
Rose Komono poses for a picture at a health clinic after overcoming the Ebola virus in Gueckedou, Guinea.Reuters

Sierra Leone has shut its trade borders with Guinea and Liberia after more people died from the Ebola outbreak that has hit West Africa over recent months.

The Ministry of Health said 16 people have now died in Sierra Leone – doubling the figure from last week – and has taken measures to curb the outbreak, including the closure of schools, cinemas and nightclubs, Reuters reports.

Authorities decided to close schools after a nine-year-old tested positive for Ebola after both parents died from the virus.

Deputy Minister of Information Theo Nicol told the news agency: "There is more contacts between school-going kids than adults hence the closure of schools in the most affected district."

Health officials have also set up checkpoints in the eastern district of Kailahun, with authorities requesting all deaths be reported before burial. Health personnel will supervise the burials of anyone who dies from Ebola.

The current Ebola outbreak, which began in February, is the deadliest for years, with over 200 deaths recorded in Guinea.

Earlier this week, the World Health Organisation said there were seven new cases of Ebola in Guinea, including six deaths. In total, there has been 351 cases in Guinea, with 226 deaths.

In Sierra Leone, there have been 89 cases of the virus, while in Liberia exact numbers are unknown: "The total number of cases is subject to change due to reclassification, retrospective investigation, consolidation of cases and laboratory data and enhanced surveillance," WHO said.

Ebola is a severe acute viral illness with symptoms including the sudden onset of fever, weakness, muscle pain and a sore throat. This is followed by vomiting and diarrhoea, a rash, poor liver and kidney function and bleeding.