Ebola fears grips West Africa

Wednesday, April 2, 2014
By Paul Martin

April 02, 2014

ABIDJAN – People across West Africa are in a state of alarm after cases of the deadly Ebola virus were recorded in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, with many voicing fears of a regional pandemic.

“The fact that you don’t know who is contaminated, and you are told not to shake hands or stay close to sweating people, sounds bizarre to the ordinary man,” Jeff Stanley, a U.K.-born virologist and independent aid worker in Sierra Leone’s Freetown, told Anadolu Agency.

“Known cases could be isolated… but what about the unknown cases?” he asked. “They are more dangerous.”

“And you can’t prevent people from travelling or moving naturally from one place to another,” Stanley said.

“Yet some of these travelers may carry the virus unknowingly and contaminate others upon their arrival at a new destination,” the virologist added.

“It’s a permanent risk that can catch the whole continent.”

The Ebola virus, a form of hemorrhagic fever, was detected in January in the hinterlands of Guinea.

According to the Guinean Health Ministry, 78 of the 122 cases of suspected Ebola have resulted in fatalities.

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