News / Africa

Ebola Outbreak Spreads to Conakry, Poses New Challenges

In this photo provide by MSF, healthcare workers prepare isolation and treatment areas for Ebola in Gueckedou, Guinea, Mar. 28, 2014.
In this photo provide by MSF, healthcare workers prepare isolation and treatment areas for Ebola in Gueckedou, Guinea, Mar. 28, 2014.
Jennifer Lazuta
Guinea’s Ministry of Health says eight cases of the Ebola virus have been confirmed in the capital, Conakry. Aid organizations say the spread of Ebola to the city poses new challenges for those trying to contain the outbreak.
 
Guinea, AfricaGuinea, Africa
x
Guinea, Africa
Guinea, Africa
West Africa’s first ever outbreak of the Ebola virus, which began in Guinea’s southeastern forest region last month, is spreading.

Guinea’s Ministry of Health said eight people have tested positive for the virus in Conakry. One person has died.

The World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed that there have been eight suspected cases in Liberia, including six fatalities. In Sierra Leone, six people are believed to have contracted Ebola. Five of them have died.

This brings the total number of suspected cases to 125, including 81 deaths.
Roland Berehoudougou is the regional head of Disaster Risk Management for the humanitarian organization Plan International.

“As you know, Conakry is the biggest city of the country and people are really - it’s a very crowded city. So the issue now is how to prevent people from getting contaminated and really cope with this situation and control the epidemic in this specific place," he spoke to VOA from Conakry.

Nearly two million people currently call Conakry home. Many of them reside in slum areas, where living conditions are poor. Throughout much of the city, there is a widespread lack of access to water and sanitation.

Berehoudougou said  this could increase the speed with which the outbreak spreads.

The Ebola virus, which is one of the most contagious viral diseases, is spread through contact with bodily fluids, such as sweat, blood and saliva, of an infected person or animal.

There are no known vaccines or treatments available for Ebola. The only way to stop its spread is by preventing further infections.

Last week, when the epidemic was still contained to Guinea’s forest region, the government forbid the sale and consumption of bats and bat meat. Bats are believed to be a natural host of the Ebola virus and could be contributing to its spread.

Berehoudougou said that while this was an important prevention measure in rural areas, proper hygiene was the best way to control an outbreak in an urban center, such as Conakry.

“In Conakry, people here don’t really eat a lot of white meat, so the animal-to-human [transmission] is a less serious issue than human-to-human contamination. As you know, the disease is transmitted by human secretions, body secretions. So having good individual hygiene will prevent people from transmitting the disease and also from getting it from others," he said.

Aid organizations are now working with the government to educate Conakry’s residents about proper hygiene measures, such as hand washing and food preparation, using local radio, TV and text messages.

On Friday, the Ministry of Health urged people to immediately report any suspected cases of Ebola and not to touch anyone - alive or dead - who is suspected of having the virus.

Health centers in Conakry are now offering treatment for all suspected Ebola cases free of charge.

You May Like

Hostage Crisis Could Divide Japan Over Plans to Boost Military

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Monday the government is working closely with the Jordanian government to secure the release of remaining Japanese hostage Kenji Goto More

Video Brussels Shaken as New Greek Leader Challenges Europe’s Austerity Drive

Country's youngest ever PM Alexis Tsipras, 40, sworn in Monday and says he will restore dignity to Greece by ending spending cuts More

Multimedia National Geographic Photo Camps Empower Youth

Annual mentoring program's mission is to give young people a voice to tell their own stories through photography More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: John from: Free town
March 30, 2014 2:23 PM
Why is africa, suffring from this virus. Poor and inocent people are dying.


by: Judi from: Canada
March 29, 2014 7:52 PM
Hope is available if regulations can be worked out. See:
http://rnaitherapeutics.blogspot.ca/2014/03/as-ebola-spreads-fear-in-western-africa.html

In Response

by: amanda emefa perez from: ghana
March 30, 2014 5:55 PM
this disease has no cure now. man does not understand the way of God. it is better we see this as an opportunity to be serious with our relationship today. it is contagious, through saliva n der4 almost the same as airborne.. any1 can get it @ anytym. jux b ready 4 it

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visiti
X
Aru Pande
January 26, 2015 9:33 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video US, EU Threaten New Russia Sanctions Over Ukraine

U.S. President Barack Obama has blamed Russia for an attack by Ukrainian separatists that left dozens dead in the port of Mariupol and cast further doubt on the viability of last year’s cease-fire with the Kyiv government. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Kerry Warns Against Violence in Nigeria Election

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Nigeria Sunday in a show of the level of concern within the U.S. and the international community over next month’s presidential election. Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Saudi, Yemen Developments Are Sudden Complications for Obama

The death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and the collapse of Yemen’s government have cast further uncertainty on U.S. efforts to fight militants in the Middle East and also contain Iran’s influence in the region. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports on the new complications facing the Obama administration and its Middle East policy.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid