03/04/2015 04:44 EST | Updated 05/04/2015 05:59 EDT

Canada sending team of experts to Guinea to help with Ebola fight

TORONTO - Canada is sending more public health personnel to West Africa to help with the Ebola containment effort.

The Public Health Agency of Canada says it will send a group of specialists to Guinea, the country where the outbreak began in December 2013.

The team of five French-speaking specialists in emergency management, epidemiology and border screening will work with a team from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, which is already on the ground in Guinea.

The Canadian team is being deployed under the auspices of the World Health Organization's Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network and will remain in the region for six to eight weeks.

Canada also has a mobile laboratory and a team of scientists to operate it at Magburaka in Sierra Leone.

Canada has had a mobile lab in Sierra Leone since June of last year and at one point had three lab teams working in Sierra Leone.

Though new cases are not occurring at the rate they were last fall, the Ebola outbreak continues to smoulder in West Africa and in particular in Sierra Leone and Guinea.

On Wednesday, the World Health Organization said the total cases in this unprecedented outbreak have risen to 23,969 and 9,807 of those people have died.