News / Africa

    Emergency Ebola Intervention Launched in Guinea

    FILE - World Health Organization officials wear protective clothing as they prepare to enter Kagadi Hospital in Kibale District, about 200 kilometers from Kampala.
    FILE - World Health Organization officials wear protective clothing as they prepare to enter Kagadi Hospital in Kibale District, about 200 kilometers from Kampala.
    Jennifer Lazuta
    Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has launched an emergency medical intervention following reports of the Ebola virus in southern Guinea, where an outbreak of hemorrhagic fever has left at least 34 people dead.

    Guinea’s Ministry of Health, which says the outbreak has reached epidemic proportions, has registered 49 infections — including three suspected infections in the capital, Conakry — since it was first reported last month.

    Guinean health ministry official Sakoba Keita told VOA Saturday that three of 12 virus samples sent to France have been confirmed as Ebola.

    Amid growing concern that Guinea's hemorrhagic fever outbreak may have spread to neighboring Sierra Leone, the health ministry says World Health Organization officials are due to arrive on Sunday to conduct additional tests on site.

    According to MSF's Dr. Esther Sterk, a tropical disease specialist, the Geneva-headquartered group currently has a 24-member medical team on the ground to treat suspected cases, and more staffers are scheduled to arrive in coming days.

    “We have set up an isolation ward in Guéckédou," she said. "That’s one of the places where patients have been seen. In this isolation unit we are treating the patients, and also what we do, everybody who has been in contact with suspected cases or confirmed patients, we follow them up in the period of the incubation time, in period that these people can fall sick.”

    Sterk said an additional isolation ward will be set up in Macenta, where there have also been suspected cases of the virus.

    MSF said that more than 30 tons of medical supplies are now en route from Belgium and France to Guinea, including medications to ease the symptoms of the fever and equipment for isolation chambers.

    This is the first time that such a virus has been identified in Guinea. This particular strain of the virus is initially contracted via contact with contaminated rodent feces and is then spread among humans through bodily fluids, such as sweat, saliva and blood.

    Symptoms include high fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and, in some cases, bleeding.

    The WHO says Ebola is one of the most highly contagious viral diseases, resulting in death between 25 and 90 percent of cases. The virus cannot be prevented with a vaccine and is untreatable with medication.

    “There is no curative treatment, but there is symptomatic treatment," said Sterk. "So if people have a fever, we give something to reduce the fever. People can have diarrhea and vomiting, so we give fluids, IV fluids. People have often a lot of pain, so we give painkillers. But for the containment of the outbreak, it’s very important that sick patients will be isolated and receive treatment in isolation ward.”

    The Ministry of Health says it is has begun to educate the population about the symptoms of the virus and the importance of rapid treatment.

    You May Like

    Top US General: Turkish Media Report ‘Absurd'

    General Dunford rejects ‘irresponsible' claims of coup involvement by former four-star Army General Campbell, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan before retiring earlier this year

    Video Saving Ethiopian Children Thought to Be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at efforts of one African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children

    Protests Over Western Troops Threaten Libyan 'Unity' Government

    Fears mount that Islamist foes of ‘unity' government plan to declare a revolutionaries' council in Tripoli

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: billsparkes from: uk
    March 24, 2014 9:37 AM
    Can some one PLEASE identify which strain of Ebola this is. Or is this only available from WHO. Thanks. Also most strains of Ebola are so virulent every body is dead before it can be spread to far

    by: Alyssa from: United States
    March 23, 2014 10:13 AM
    Seeing some comments around the web about how this is "the beginning of the end" etc. etc.... since Ebola has emerged and been recognized in the 70's there have been numerous outbreaks, some involving even larger numbers of people. It is interesting that Ebola is now showing up in a new part of Africa, but I would not be too freaked out by this. One thing working against Ebola is just how fast it kills people if it's going to, which (with proper containment of those sick) makes it's spread usually short term.
    In Response

    by: meanbill from: USA
    March 23, 2014 8:20 PM
    CRAZY isn't it? .. Just one sick (EBOLA) person on a plane, stopping over in 2 or 3 countries, could spread a world-wide epidemic, couldn't they? ....... REALLY?

    by: African from: Sierra Leone
    March 23, 2014 5:02 AM
    Cain don't be a dunce. Western civilization has spread death, destruction and disease worldwide. Also tell me which part of Guinea or Sierra Leone is in the west? I hope you see now have irrelevant and nonsensical your comment is

    by: Ousman Baldeh Bah from: Gambia
    March 23, 2014 12:32 AM
    This is as dangerous as malaria. similar symptoms and public burdens. I know very well that every family in Guinea is worried and very scared. We are also equally worried and scared here in Gambia because it might spread here too through our neighbouring Senegal. Please God, help us more and guide us more. Those infected, heal them and make the virus go away. unfortunately those who have died, take them to heaven. AHMEN! If I were a doctor, I would have support voluntarily.

    by: rubiks6 from: Virginia
    March 22, 2014 11:33 PM
    If, as the article states, "the virus is initially contracted via contact with contaminated rodent feces", then this is Lassa, not ebola.

    Lassa is endemic to western sub-Saharan Africa. This is probably nothing new.

    However, the article also stated "3 of 12 virus samples sent to France have been confirmed as Ebola". Let us hope that it is Lassa.

    by: Lanfia from: USA
    March 22, 2014 10:26 PM
    There are a lot more than the confirmed 34 dead in this outbreak. My colleagues on the ground in Gueckedou are reporting persons infected with similar symptoms in virtually every quarter and many dead in the surrounding areas. Then there's Kissidougou. All eyes on Conakry. It is a day's journey from Gueckedou and also Kankan which is after Kissidougou and Tokounou.

    by: FthomasCain from: San Francisco
    March 22, 2014 10:10 PM
    Just about every bad thing that has ever happened to western civilization has emanated out of Africa.
    In Response

    by: Bruce Wayne from: Portugal
    March 23, 2014 1:01 PM
    And probably just about every ignorant comment that has ever happened to the world has emanated out of America.
    In Response

    by: Andrew Earle-Richardson from: Conakry Guinea
    March 23, 2014 5:14 AM
    That kind of broad, ignorant accusatory statement accomplishes nothing.
    In Response

    by: Charles from: Afghanistan
    March 23, 2014 2:02 AM
    That is likely the most idiotic and clueless statement I have ever read on the internet.
    Congratulations, you win.
    In Response

    by: eburg206er from: Ellensburg, wa
    March 22, 2014 11:25 PM
    And vice versa.

    by: ebola from: the world
    March 22, 2014 9:42 PM
    It's starting......

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora