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

At International AIDS Conference One Goal, Many Paths

The 12,000 delegates attending 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne have vastly different visions about how to eradicate disease More

Disasters May Doom Malaysia’s Flag Carrier

Even before loss of two jets loaded with passengers on international flights, company had been operating in red for three years, accumulating deficit of $1.3 billion More

Afghan Presidential Vote Audit Continues Despite Glitches

Process has been marred by walkouts by representatives of two competing candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani More

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.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Agei
X
Elizabeth Lee
July 20, 2014 2:36 AM
Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.
Video

Video Diplomatic Crisis Grows Over MH17 Plane Crash

The Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine is drawing reaction from leaders around the world. With suspicions growing that a surface-to-air missile shot down the aircraft, there are increasing tensions in the international community over who is to blame. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Undocumented Immigrants Face Perilous Journey to US, No Guarantees

Every day, hundreds of undocumented immigrants from Central America attempt the arduous journey through Mexico and turn themselves over to U.S. border patrol -- with the hope that they will not be turned away. But the dangers they face along the way are many, and as Ramon Taylor reports from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, their fate rests on more than just the reception they get at the US border.
Video

Video Scientists Create Blackest Material Ever

Of all the black things in the universe only the infamous "black holes" are so black that not even a tiny amount of light can bounce back. But scientists have managed to create material almost as black, and it has enormous potential use. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Fog Collector Transforming Maasai Water Harvesting in Kenya

The Maasai people of Kenya are known for their cattle-herding, nomadic lifestyle. But it's an existence that depends on access to adequate water for their herds and flocks. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA, on a "fog collector."

AppleAndroid