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Growing Ebola epidemic in Guinea ignites crowd attacks

Medical supplies to prevent spread were dropped by World Health Organization.
Medical supplies to prevent spread were dropped by World Health Organization.
Photo by David McNew/Getty Images

According to an April 5 report, the Ebola virus continues to spread in Guinea causing crowds to attack healthcare workers. A flash mob attacked a clinic where Doctors Without Borders were treating victims. That wasn't very smart -- those victims at the clinic were quarantined for a reason. Apparently the crowd believes that aid workers are to blame for the Ebola virus spreading.

Officials reported the attack was violent enough that international aid workers had to leave the premises. Sam Taylor, a spokesman for the international group said, "these are not favorable working conditions so we are suspending our activities." However no one was seriously injured, although stones had been thrown at the workers Taylor said. He also reported the Ebola patients in Guinea will continue to receive medical attention from the Guinean health officials.

Previously he said workers had been tracking down the patients last places to see if they can figure out areas where new infections could be lurking, because it is the "only way to" help control an Ebola epidemic. However, with the new attacks workers have ceased their aid. Could the attackers have thought the workers were to blame for the spread of the virus since they had been in contact with the Ebola patients before venturing into their neighborhoods? Regardless, storming healthcare workers who are helping to stop the spread where Ebola patients are placed under strict isolation surely didn't help matters.

Apparently, the mob attacks were over people being kept in "isolation in their neighborhood," according to SF Gate news. Since the mob attacks on the Ebola center Taylor told Reuters yesterday "we have evacuated all our staff and closed the treatment center." Medecins Sans Frontieres have given warning that this outbreak can turn into an unequalled epidemic.

So far it has been estimated the virus has killed about 84 people, and for the last "two decades" West Africa has not had any reported Ebola cases. Ebola is one of the deadliest diseases on Earth, and the Voice of America reported Mali's government has created a quick response team. The team will help oversee this epidemic and will have a "national hotline" set up to report cases.

The World Health Organization recently said more than "3.5 tons of protection material arrived in Conakry, the capital of Guinea, and on March 30, "started to quickly distribute the materials to health facilities in various areas who have been overseeing the Ebola outbreak. Unfortunately, if a person tests positive for the virus they only have a 90% fatality rate, and there are no known vaccines or cure treatments available. According to the WHO, the virus is transmittable through "blood and secretions", whereas men who survived could still carry the virus and transmit it "through their semen for up to seven weeks."

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