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

Video Analysts: Beijing Parade a 'Bazaar' of Stolen Technology

Show commemorating victory over Japan in World War II involved long, medium and short range missiles, a range of tanks and 200 fighter aircraft More

Bernie Sanders Surge Reflects US Shift on Socialism

Although most analysts say it is unlikely he will get the Democratic nomination, Sanders' campaign opens up questions and issues that are otherwise marginalized More

Video On IS Frontline, Kurdish Fighters Ready for Offensive

Peshmerga soldiers say although they need more heavy artillery, they are poised to take the fight to the Islamic State extremists on their turf More

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......

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Drowned Migrant Toddler Photo Triggers European Outragei
X
Henry Ridgwell
September 04, 2015 11:36 AM
The harrowing picture of a drowned three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on a Turkish beach appears to have galvanized Europe’s leaders into doing more to address the refugee crisis. France, Germany and Italy issued a joint call Thursday for compulsory quotas of refugees for all EU states. But there were chaotic scenes in Hungary as police tried to force migrants off a train heading for Austria. Henry Ridgwell has more. And a caution, some of the images in this report may be disturbing.
Video

Video Drowned Migrant Toddler Photo Triggers European Outrage

The harrowing picture of a drowned three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on a Turkish beach appears to have galvanized Europe’s leaders into doing more to address the refugee crisis. France, Germany and Italy issued a joint call Thursday for compulsory quotas of refugees for all EU states. But there were chaotic scenes in Hungary as police tried to force migrants off a train heading for Austria. Henry Ridgwell has more. And a caution, some of the images in this report may be disturbing.
Video

Video Russians Observe 11th Anniversary of Beslan School Attack

This week, Russians have been observing the 11th anniversary of the attack by Islamic militants on a school in Russia's North Caucasus region that killed more than 330 hostages, including 186 children. The three-day siege and massacre that started on September 1, 2004 took place in Beslan, a town in the republic of North Ossetia, and is one of the bloodiest terrorist acts ever in Russia. VOA's Mike Richman reports.
Video

Video Native Americans Debate: Father Serra, Saint or Sinner?

Pope Francis will canonize an 18th century missionary to Spanish California during a papal visit to the United States this month.  But some Native Americans have criticized the elevation to sainthood of the missionary priest, Junipero Serra. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisis

Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Kurdish Fighters on IS Frontline Ready for Offensive

Finger on the trigger, the Kurdish Peshmerga soldier stared across the dust at a village taken over by Islamic State extremists. The Kurdistan’s Khazir frontline, just 45 minutes from the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul. And at this point, the militants were less than two kilometers away. VOA's Sharon Behn reports.
Video

Video China Announces Troop Cuts at WWII Parade

Chinese President Xi Jinping Thursday announced plans to cut the world’s largest military force by 300,000 troops. The announcement was made during a massive military parade to commemorate victory over Japan in World War II. The event was shunned by most Western leaders and for some is raising fresh concerns about China’s military ambitions. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Russia-Japan Relations Cool as Putin Visits China for WWII Anniversary

Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Beijing for commemorations of the 70th anniversary of China's WWII victory over Japan. Putin is expected to visit Japan later this year, but tensions between Tokyo and Moscow over islands disputed since the war, and sanctions over Ukraine, could pour cold water on the plan. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Yemen ‘on Brink of Disaster’ as Medical Shortages Soar

Aid agencies warn Yemen is on the brink of humanitarian disaster – with up to half a million children facing severe malnutrition, and hospitals running out of basic medicines. There are fears Yemen's civil war could escalate as the coalition led by Saudi Arabia tries to drive back Houthi rebels, who seized control of much of the country earlier this year. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Apps Helping Kenyan Businesses Stay Ahead of Counterfeiters

Counterfeit goods in Kenya cost the government as much as $1 billion each year in lost tax revenues. The fake goods also hurt entrepreneurs who find it hard to carve out a niche in the market and retain customers. But as Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi, information technology is being used to try to beat the problem.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.

VOA Blogs