News / Africa

    Deadly Ebola Virus Sparks Fears in West Africa

    In this photo taken on March 29, 2014, medical personnel at the emergency entrance of a hospital receive suspected Ebola virus patients in Conakry, Guinea.
    In this photo taken on March 29, 2014, medical personnel at the emergency entrance of a hospital receive suspected Ebola virus patients in Conakry, Guinea.
    Jennifer Lazuta
    West Africans are growing more apprehensive as the region's first-ever Ebola outbreak spreads.  Guinea's president and other leaders are urging people to remain calm, but people across the region say they are scared. 

    The outbreak that began in Guinea’s southeastern forest region last month is causing widespread fear as the death toll rises and the outbreak spreads.

    Leaders throughout the region have said that there is no reason to panic, but people say they are becoming increasingly worried.

    "I’m afraid," admitted Steve Doe, a resident of Liberia's capital, Monrovia. "I mean the way it attacks one, you know, and the way it kills.  I’m afraid that the outbreak will be known in Liberia - or anywhere for that matter.  We are all human beings, so yes, I’m afraid."

    Guinea's Ministry of Health says more than 70 people have died since the first suspected case was treated on February 9.  More than 125 people across three countries are now believed to have been affected by the highly contagious virus.

    The health ministry confirmed last week that the virus had made its way to the capital, Conakry.  Aid organizations say this is a worrying development, as the city is densely populated and many people lack access to water and good sanitation.

    In Liberia, at least two people have tested positive for Ebola.  Sierra Leone has also reported suspected cases of the virus.

    On Saturday, Senegal closed the land border it shares with Guinea in the southeast of the country as a preventative measure.

    Papa Konaté, who lives in Dakar, said he is scared that this may not be enough, adding that Ebola is a disease that can affect anyone. "So of course we are afraid," he said.  "We pass people on the streets and then we enter into our homes -- and you see, here in Dakar, there are many Guineans everywhere." Konaté says there are many Guineans who come and go, who leave and come back without a problem.  "It’s risky," he added.

    According to health officials, the Ebola cases that were found in Liberia can be traced back to individuals who recently traveled to Guinea.

    There is no vaccine against Ebola and no medication to cure the virus, which is spread through close contact with bodily fluids, such as sweat, blood or saliva, of an infected person or animal.

    Doctors say the only way to contain the outbreak is to stop further infections.

    Monrovian resident Ameago Sekou Kamara said he and his family have begun taking precautions to avoid contracting the Ebola virus.

    "Ebola is a deadly disease...so we are following all the measures we have been given by the Ministry of Health and Social welfare," Kamara explained, "like preventing handshakes, stop eating bush meat and avoid coming to where there is information that there is an outbreak.  Even if a family member that is very close to you has it, you should not get associated with the person until you have medical advice."

    West African authorities and aid organizations say they are taking all possible measures to contain the outbreak.  They urge people to act wisely and follow preventative measures.

    You May Like

    Saudi Arabia’s New Female Politicians in the Other Room 

    Many in Saudi Arabia say elected representatives should share unsegregated spaces; according to a recent survey, more than half the Saudi population, both men and women, prefer to work in a segregated place

    Russia Not ‘Apologetic’ for Syria Airstrikes

    With Moscow criticized for targeting armed opponents of President Assad, Russia’s UN envoy says his country ‘acting in a very transparent manner’

    Pakistan Warns of Islamic State's Growing Reach

    Aftab Sultan, General Director General of Intelligence Bureau (IB), briefed Senate Committee in closed hearing, saying that IS-linked groups have been expanding in Pakistan

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Rena from: USA
    April 09, 2014 1:25 AM
    https://www.google.com/#q=pig+farms+maps+in+Africa

    Pig farms in Africa.. are located along this side of Africa where the outbreak is. Pigs carry the virus so I have read.

    by: Rena from: USA
    April 09, 2014 1:19 AM
    Pigs supposedly can carry the virus. I wonder what trees or tree sap has to do with the virus. Can you test tree sap to see if it has the virus?

    by: Lucille Munro from: Ottawa. ON. Canada
    April 05, 2014 2:21 PM
    Who are you?

    by: Carol Tarens from: Paradise
    April 05, 2014 1:45 PM
    Does anyone relate this to, a form of terrorism? Americans coming home?, or animals being used as weapons?,.Transporting Animals?, for trade to the rest of the world?, and how many people do YOU know who have already left West Africa before known outbreak?. Is this type of virus an outbreak in the U.N. States?, as of now?. These are things I have hope that someone has considered also, that may have the status to do something about. Thank You, for letting me text my thoughts.

    by: Mayqueen Ukpabi from: Abia State Nigeria
    April 01, 2014 3:32 AM
    This Virus seem more deadly than HIV AIDS. De Minister of health should help families by conducting a house to house TEST to knw de carriers an keep dem in one hospital.

    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.
    Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growthi
    X
    February 10, 2016 5:54 AM
    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Civil Rights Pioneer Remembers Struggle for Voting Rights

    February is Black History Month in the United States. The annual, month-long national observance pays tribute to important people and events that shaped the history of African Americans. VOA's Chris Simkins reports how one man fought against discrimination to help millions of blacks obtain the right to vote
    Video

    Video Jordanian Theater Group Stages Anti-Terrorism Message

    The lure of the self-styled “Islamic State” has many parents worried about their children who may be susceptible to the organization’s online propaganda. Dozens of Muslim communities in the Middle East are fighting back -- giving young adults alternatives to violence. One group in Jordan is using dramatic expression a send a family message. Mideast Broadcasting Network correspondent Haider Al Abdali shared this report with VOA. It’s narrated by Bronwyn Benito
    Video

    Video Migrant Crisis Fuels Debate Over Britain’s Future in EU

    The migrant crisis in Europe is fueling the debate in Britain ahead of a referendum on staying in the European Union that may be held this year. Prime Minister David Cameron warns that leaving the EU could lead to thousands more migrants arriving in the country. Meanwhile, tension is rising in Calais, France, where thousands of migrants are living in squalid camps. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Families Flee Aleppo for Kurdish Regions in Syria

    Not all who flee the fighting in Aleppo are trying to cross the border into Turkey. A VOA reporter caught up with several families heading for Kurdish-held areas of northern Syria.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.