News / Africa

Ebola Outbreak Plagues West Africa

FILE - Health workers teach people about the Ebola virus and how to prevent infection, in Conakry, Guinea.
FILE - Health workers teach people about the Ebola virus and how to prevent infection, in Conakry, Guinea.
VOA News
Experts say the ebola outbreak in West Africa is far from under control.

The virus has killed more than 200 people since it appeared in southeastern Guinea in February. It is spread through direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person, even after that person dies.

Dozens of new ebola cases have been reported in Guinea and across the border in Sierra Leone since the end of May. The disease is rebounding in some areas and cropping up for the first time in others.

Liberia has not reported any new cases in a month. Liberia's Assistant Health Minister for Preventive Services, Nyenswa Tolbert, told VOA the country has focused on educating communities on the dangers of some traditional practices.

"People want to bury their dead. They want to clean them. They want to do traditional rituals, activity over the body. These are the major critical things that are affecting our people in the rural areas. And so we are informing them. Sometimes, in some cases, we are even negotiating burial," said Tolbert.

Health officials from Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia are meeting in Monrovia to share information and come up with a plan.

There is no cure for ebola, and health workers try to isolate suspected cases.  This outbreak has had about a 70 percent fatality rate.

Ebola symptoms include fever, vomiting, body aches, and uncontrollable bleeding.

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Comments
     
by: berry jose from: south sudan
June 08, 2014 6:11 AM
The health authorities of the affected countries should come up with ways of thoroughly educating the citizens about the dangers and the control measures of this deadly Ebola virus,And any burial of an Ebola victim must be conducted under the direct supervision of the health authorities concerned.The Ebola awareness campaign must be extended upto the rural areas.

by: Donald Fraser Miles from: Elliot Lake, Canada
June 07, 2014 6:19 PM
Following general principles of immunization and treatment of infectious diseases, I am wondering what the medical effect would be to inject a dead ebola virus into the ebola sufferers. Would it have a curative effect?
In Response

by: Donald Fraser Miles from: Elliot Lake, Canada
June 08, 2014 6:39 AM
I am aware that injecting live or dead virus is used for vaccines. However, it is possible a dead virus injection may also act to stimulate antibodies in the suffering.
In Response

by: Hovhannes from: Montevideo
June 07, 2014 7:12 PM
Vaccines are not meant to cure people who are already suffering from an infectious disease, but to protect healthy people from it. In addition, it's necessary to produce a vaccine to protect healthy people. Injecting the virus into sufferers won't help them.

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