News / Africa

Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Health Officials: Ebola Spiraling Out of Controli
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September 03, 2014 4:29 AM
Health officials say the Ebola outbreak in West Africa is spiraling out of control and threatening to spread to other continents. The head of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Tuesday called for an urgent and concerted effort worldwide to contain the deadly virus. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Watch video report from VOA's Zlatica Hoke

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The international medical aid group Doctors Without Borders says the world is losing the battle against Ebola and warns the deadly virus will not be stopped unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams to West Africa.

The organization's president, Joanne Liu, said Tuesday that her group, which has treated more than 1,000 Ebola patients in West Africa since March, is completely overwhelmed by the disease.  

"In Sierra Leone, infectious bodies are rotting in the streets. Rather than building a new Ebola care center in Liberia, we are forced to build crematoria," said Liu.
 
Her warnings were echoed Tuesday by the head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dr. Tom Frieden the situation is now the world's first Ebola epidemic, given how widely it's spreading.  He cautioned that while there is a window of opportunity to fight the disease, "the window is closing."

Meanwhile in Liberia, a missionary organization announced that another American doctor has become infected.  Serving in Mission said the obstetrician was not treating Ebola patients at the hospital in Monrovia. It did not elaborate how the he contracted the virus.

Also Tuesday, U.S. President Barack Obama joined the fight against Ebola, recording a message for West Africans on how to avoid and treat the deadly disease.

In a video released by the White House,  Obama warns people in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone not to touch the blood, sweat or other body fluids of Ebola patients, and to avoid contaminated items such as used needles.

He warned that those killed by the disease remain contagious.

"When burying someone who has died from this terrible disease, it’s important to not directly touch their body.  You can respect your traditions and honor your loved ones without risking the lives of the living," said Obama.

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The West African Ebola outbreak, which has now spread to Senegal as well, has killed more than 1,500 people this year.

The United Nations says the West Africa outbreak has put harvests at risk and sent regional food prices soaring.

The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization issued the warning Tuesday in a special alert for Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, the three countries most affected by the outbreak.

The FAO said that in those three countries, quarantine zones and restrictions on people's movement aimed at combating the virus have "seriously curtailed the movement and marketing of food."

The agency said this has led to panic buying, food shortages and major price increases for some commodities.  The FAO also warned that labor shortages on farms due to movement restrictions and workers leaving for other areas will seriously impact farm production and jeopardize the food security of many people.  

 

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by: alfredo ibarra barajas from: México
September 03, 2014 3:47 PM
I would like to comment something on this, but I can't, because I am really not aware what was the source of the deadly Ebola. But I applaud to Doctors Without Borders who made an appeal to the wealthy nations to send more biological response teams to Africa, before Ebola gets out of control. The organization' s president, Joanne Liu says, as of today, they are overwhelmed and cannot cope for much longer without some assistance. Don't deny help to these poor people, who on top of bad corrupt governments, they suffer from manutrition, lack of education, overcrowding, and uncountable other ills as tabooes regarding the dead ones and supertitions. Africans alone are the most dispossessed people in the world. I see the overcrowded boats with famished people arriving to the coast of Italy, after a perilous journey of two or three days. Their need must be indeed dire to take that risky journey. While other people in rich countries waste enormous quantities of food, and I know it from first hand, in Africa people sometimes have only scarce food once a day or sometimes nothing at all. So let us think about it and try not to waste; other people may want to eat what falls from our tables, so great is their need. This does not have anything to do with Ebola, but it goes hand in hand. I know this strikes a chord in many people.


by: Xaaji Dhagax from: Somalia
September 03, 2014 3:25 AM
Why Africa is the most catastrophic continent in this universe. We are forced to experience the most upheaval wars; communal war, tribal/clan fighting, terrorism, dictatorship and corruptions. The West view Africa as where all deadly disease and virus originated such as West Nile flu, Bird flu (avian flu), SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome), HIV, AIDS, Cancer and so on.
Both Christian and Muslim scholars agreed that this is all divine curse on black people.I do not know really what we did to deserve this punishment.

In Response

by: Pointman from: Korea
September 03, 2014 8:06 AM
I'm a God fearing man. When I jump from an airplane, I always ask for God's protection. However, why would a loving God, place a curse on black-people? An old Baptist preacher once told me, blacks were cursed because one of Noah's sons caused that to happen. If God did place a curse on black-people, I'm asking God to lift that curse. I'm Irish/English, but I've found a lot of good in all of mankind, no matter what race they are from.


by: JaylikeBird
September 02, 2014 9:26 PM
Are the aid teams going to be attacked by mobs? If people are too ignorant to accept help and violently refuse it, let them die.


by: fox from: Maulder
September 02, 2014 8:12 PM
Emergency care 101. First Law and order,second Safety of personnel , Third Patient care. It is not reasonable to mount operations in lawless areas! The people and governments within lawless areas have a duty to ensure medical personnel safety. Medical aid worker is not a suicide mission, but probably a life time career, gaining experience daily,

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