Bandits in Guinea steal suspected Ebola blood samples

Friday, November 21, 2014
By Paul Martin

Bandits held up a minibus taxi carrying samples from a suspected Ebola patient. Why they took them is unknown.
Friday, November 21, 2014

CONAKRY, GUINEA—Roadside bandits in Guinea stole a cooler containing blood samples that are believed to have Ebola, officials said Friday, warning of the risks and vowing tighter security measures for transport of such potentially contagious cargo.

The vehicle was transporting test tubes containing blood when the roadside robbery took place on the route from Kankan prefecture in central Guinea to a test site in Gueckedou, in the south, national health officials said.

The bandits held up the minibus taxi carrying the samples from a suspected Ebola patient on Wednesday, said Guinea Red Cross press officer Faya Etienne Tolno. Why they took the blood samples is unknown.

Officials appealed on national radio for the thieves to return the samples.

“We have informed the security services. If these thieves handle this blood, it will be dangerous,” said Dr. Barry Moumie, who heads patient care for the national Ebola response co-ordination committee.

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