News / Africa

Sierra Leone Criminalizes Hiding Ebola Patients

A health worker, wearing head-to-toe protective gear, offers water to a woman with Ebola, at a treatment center for infected persons in Sierra Leone, Aug. 20, 2014.
A health worker, wearing head-to-toe protective gear, offers water to a woman with Ebola, at a treatment center for infected persons in Sierra Leone, Aug. 20, 2014.
VOA News

Sierra Leone has passed a law that makes it illegal to harbor people with Ebola.

Under the new law, anyone found hiding an Ebola patient could face up to two years in jail.

Sierra Leone's parliament passed the law late Friday.

The World Heath Organization says people may hide their stricken relatives rather than face the stigma and social rejection associated with the virus. It says others may view Ebola care wards as places where patients get sicker and die.

Meanwhile, on Saturday, Britain's Department of Health said a British citizen living in Sierra Leone has tested positive for Ebola.  Few other details were immediately available.

Ivory Coast closes borders

Late Friday, Ivory Coast announced it is closing its land borders with Guinea and Liberia, joining a group of other African nations shielding themselves against the four nations -- Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria -- with Ebola outbreaks.

On Friday, officials in Nigeria said the Ebola virus in the country had for the first time spread to people who did not have direct contact with the country's first victim.

Click to enlargeClick to enlarge
x
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

The development came as the World Health Organization announced the death toll from the epidemic in West Africa has risen to 1,427 people.  The WHO said Friday there are 2,615 confirmed cases of Ebola in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.  


How disease is transmitted

Click to enlargeClick to enlarge
x
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Ebola is transmitted through direct contact with blood or bodily fluids of an infected person.  

The disease causes fever, vomiting, diarrhea and uncontrollable bleeding through bodily openings, including the eyes, ears and nose.  Previous outbreaks have had a death rate of up to 90 percent, although the death rate in the current epidemic is closer to 50 percent.

Two American aid workers who were infected with Ebola in Liberia left the U.S. hospital this week where they had been receiving treatment.

Doctors say Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol have recovered.  They received the experimental drug ZMapp but doctors said they do not know if the medication helped them recover.

 

You May Like

Turkey: No Ransom Paid for Release of Hostages Held by IS Militants

President Erdogan hails release of hostages as diplomatic success but declines to be drawn on whether their release freed Ankara's hand to take more active stance against insurgents More

Audio Sierra Leone Official Pleased With Ebola Containment Measure

Official says three-day sensitization effort will help reduce infection rate of Ebola disease nationwide More

US Pivot to Asia Demands Delicate Balancing Act

As the tumult in the Middle East distracts Obama, shifting American focus eastward appears threatened More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’i
X
Jeff Seldin
September 20, 2014 10:28 PM
Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid