Sunday, January 21, 2018

Ebola spread to Guinea capital raises fears

CONAKRY, Guinea — Ebola, one of the world's most deadly viruses, has spread from a remote forested corner of southern Guinea to the country's seaside capital, raising fears that the disease, which causes severe bleeding and almost always death, could spread far beyond this tiny West African nation's borders.

In the first outbreak of its kind in Guinea, Ebola already has killed at least 70 people, including one man whose family brought him to Conakry, the capital, for medical treatment. Now six of his relatives and two others exposed to him are being kept in isolation at a hospital.

Health officials warn that the arrival of Ebola in this sprawling city of some 2 million people with an international airport could spell disaster. Among the poorest countries in the world, Guinea has severely limited medical facilities and a large population living in slums where the virus could spread quickly.

"Poor living conditions and lack of water and sanitation in most parts of Conakry poses a serious risk of this epidemic spiraling into a crisis," said Ibrahima Toure, country director for the aid group Plan International.

Panic already has grown among residents since the government announced the Conakry cases late Thursday on national television. While most days up to 300 patients seek treatment at Donka Hospital, fewer than 100 came on Friday as news spread that the Ebola patients were being quarantined there.

"My daughter is sick and coughing but I prefer to keep her at home. I wouldn't set foot inside Donka Hospital for anything in the world right now," said Djalikatou Balde, a teacher.

International aid groups like Doctors Without Borders and Plan International are trying to educate Guineans about how the disease is spread, and working to identify and isolate anyone who may have been exposed. There is no cure for the disease and the virus strain in Guinea has a fatality rate of up to 90 percent. Some 111 people have fallen ill already and authorities in Liberia and Sierra Leone are also investigating suspected cases.

"Above all, we must avoid widespread panic," said Marie-Christine Ferir, emergency coordinator for Doctors Without Borders. "That is why it is so important to spread correct information so people understand the disease and how to protect themselves."

The Ebola virus causes severe hemorrhagic fever in patients. Its initial symptoms — high fever, headache and weakness — can mimic malaria.

Comments
Gunmen assault luxury hotel in Afghan capital, 5 dead

Gunmen assault luxury hotel in Afghan capital, 5 dead

Gunmen attack Intercontinental Hotel in Afghan capital, killing at least five and setting off an hours long battle with security forces
Updated: 19 minutes ago

AP Top News at 3:42 a.m. EST

AP Top News at 3:42 a.m. EST
Updated: 19 minutes ago
Gunmen assault luxury hotel in Afghan capital, 5 dead

Gunmen assault luxury hotel in Afghan capital, 5 dead

Gunmen attack Intercontinental Hotel in Afghan capital, killing at least five and setting off an hours long battle with security forces
Updated: 19 minutes ago
The Latest: Edmund advances to Australian Open quarterfinals

The Latest: Edmund advances to Australian Open quarterfinals

Kyle Edmund has defeated Andreas Seppi 6-7 (4), 7-5, 6-2, 6-3 to advance to an Australian Open quarterfinal against either third-seeded Grigor Dimitrov or Nick Kyrgios
Updated: 22 minutes ago

Here is the latest Florida sports news from The Associated Press

Here is the latest Florida sports news from The Associated Press
Updated: 1 hour ago
Turkey says border town hit by rockets from Syria; 1 wounded

Turkey says border town hit by rockets from Syria; 1 wounded

Four rockets fired from Syria hit a Turkish border town as Turkey-backed Syrian opposition fighters push forward with an offensive to drive Syrian Kurdish forces from an enclave in northern Syria
Updated: 1 hour ago
The Latest: Roadside bomb kills 12 civilians in Afghanistan

The Latest: Roadside bomb kills 12 civilians in Afghanistan

An Afghan official says a roadside bomb has killed at least 12 civilians in the western Herat province
Updated: 1 hour ago
Brunson, top-ranked Villanova cruise past former rival UConn

Brunson, top-ranked Villanova cruise past former rival UConn

Top 25 Capsules
Updated: 1 hour ago
'The Shape of Water' wins top Producers Guild Award

'The Shape of Water' wins top Producers Guild Award

Guillermo del Toro's fantastical romance "The Shape of Water" has won the top honor from the Producers Guild of America
Updated: 1 hour ago
Pence defends Trump's shift on Jerusalem during Mideast tour

Pence defends Trump's shift on Jerusalem during Mideast tour

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence is defending President Donald Trump's move to declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel, a decision that has touched off uneasiness among Arab nations on his first tour of the region
Updated: 1 hour ago