Friday, March 28, 2014

Ebola Spreads to Guinean Capital Conakry


Guinean Ebola Outbreak
The deadly Ebola virus which causes a type of hemorrhagic fever with a fatality rate of 90% and has been plaguing the southern region of the West African country of Guinea for several week and has already claimed over 60 lives in that area, has finally spread to the country's highly congested capital city Conakry.
The Ebola Virus  

The Conakry case started with the death of a shopkeeper in the Guinean capital on March 18th 2014. After his death four of his brothers were assigned to take his body back to their village. After preparing the body for transport, one of the brothers started feeling very unwell and went to the hospital where tests confirmed that he was afflicted with the deadly virus.
Guinean Health Workers

The Segbwema blog correspondent in Conakry reported that after this confirmed case, the three other brothers were also checked and all were discovered to be positive for the killer virus. Guinean officials have isolated all the relatives and even the health care workers and doctors who treated them. There is a great fear and disquiet that the virus will spread very rapidly in the highly congested capital where hygienic practices are not always at the top of the agenda of the locales. Conakry has a troublesome relationship with the cholera bacteria which is far less deadly and the release of this virus in the troubled coastal city is seen by many as a potential health catastrophe.

The Guinean Health Minister Colonel Remy Lamah confirmed the outbreak of the virus in the nation's capital. He said the dead shopkeeper's house has been sprayed and all his relatives have been quarantined. The doctors that treated the brothers have also been quarantined for 21 days.

The highly fatal Ebola virus was first reported in Congo in 1976 and has reoccurred there regularly over the years. This is the first time Ebola has been reported in this area of West Africa. In neighboring Sierra Leone, whose capital Freetown was just a couple of years ago devastated by a severe attack of cholera, the population is very concerned and a lot of people are very worried as there is daily interaction between the Guinean capital Conakry and the Sierra Leone capital through trade. Traders ply the route between the two congested urban settlements daily and many Sierra Leoneans pass through the country to travel abroad.

It is hoped by many that now that the Ebola virus has reached Conakry, the Sierra Leone government will put structures in place to respond rapidly to the eventuality of the virus moving across the boundaries of the two countries. Already countries like Cote D'Ivoire and Liberia has put some restrictions on the consumption of bush meat. However, the restrictions are largely being ignored by the people. 

Sheku Sheriff
The Segbwema Blogger.

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