Fear And Rumors Hinder Containment Of Ebola Outbreak

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Fear And Rumors Hinder Containment Of Ebola Outbreak

by Wochit 1:29 mins

Fear And Rumors Hinder Containment Of Ebola Outbreak

by Wochit 1:29 mins

It sounds like the perfect script for a horror movie: A virus with no vaccine and no cure kills hundreds of people; despite containment efforts, it keeps spreading. But it's actually all too real in West Africa, where doctors have said Ebola is now "out of control." While scientists dig for clues that could help develop medicine or better vaccine, the only prevention technique remains isolation. The World Health Organization announced today that the virus has killed at least 467 people and spread throughout Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, making this the most deadly and farthest-reaching outbreak of the disease since it first appeared in 1976. While containment is possible in theory, breaks in protocol compromise the effort — and are common in countries where both the disease and foreign medical workers are feared. Dan Epstein, a WHO spokesman in Switzerland, says, "Rumors are rife that if you eat three large onions, for example, you won’t get Ebola — but if you go to the hospital, you will get it." Government task forces have run radio and television ads to try to counter the myths, but mistrust of the government can render them ineffective.


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