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

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

Audio 'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book 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.
Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populationsi
X
April 24, 2015 10:13 PM
A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.

VOA Blogs