EBOLA CRISIS: Victims ‘HIDE SYMPTOMS’ due to shock conspiracy fears

Friday, September 21, 2018
By Paul Martin

THE EBOLA virus has sparked a wide range of bizarre and outlandish conspiracy theories which has led to victims hiding their symptoms in fear of their lives.

Thu, Sep 20, 2018

Some of the theories include that the deadly disease is a plot to kill off opposition voters. Others believe it is a money-making scheme by foreign groups.

People are refusing Ebola vaccines as a result and others throw stones at health workers in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, where an Ebola outbreak has killed almost 100 people since July, according to the Red Cross.

Humanitarian workers hope a better understanding of these beliefs will help them gain trust, after Congo’s health minister said that “community resistance is the first challenge to the response.”

Emergency coordinator for medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres, Berengere Guais, said: “People sometimes hide symptoms, refuse vaccination, perform unsafe burials.

“Ebola is a terrifying disease, which creates fear and mistrust.”

The outbreak is believed to have killed 97 people so far and infected another 45, according to the health ministry.

It is in an active conflict zone, where rebellion and ethnic killing have persisted since two civil wars in the late 1990s in which millions died, mostly from hunger and disease.

Many people do not understand why scores of foreigners flew in for Ebola, while other problems got little attention, according to Ombretta Baggio, senior advisor for community engagement at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)

She said: “It’s very important that we move away from the same old messages.

“The population is very smart. They have specific questions.”

Some have noted that the symptoms of Ebola resemble the effects of poison, she said.

Others think it is suspicious that when most people go to the treatment centre, they die.

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