France beefs up monitoring over Ebola scare in Guinea

France's health ministry on Thursday said it had advised doctors to step up vigilance for the Ebola virus, but stressed there was no need for immediate concern.

"There's no reason to be worried today," health and social affairs minister Marisol Touraine told news channel iTele.

"But obviously there is a need to be vigilant... and this is why I have asked health professionals to monitor the situation."

Touraine said there was "no need today to impose restrictions" on travel to west Africa, where suspected Ebola cases have been reported.

"However, people who travel to the countries concerned, particularly Guinea, should take a certain number of precautions," she said.

"We have alerted doctors in France to be on the lookout for certain symptoms so that treatment can be provided as swiftly as possible."

France, the former colonial power in much of west Africa, is a major portal for air traffic from the region.

Eighty-four people have died from Ebola in Guinea, and six in Liberia.

The tropical virus can be transmitted to humans from wild animals, and between humans through direct contact with blood, faeces or sweat.

Sexual contact, or the unprotected handling of contaminated corpses, can also lead to infection.

There is no treatment or vaccine.