Skip to main content
Advertising

Originally published Saturday, April 5, 2014 at 1:57 PM

  • Share:
           
  • Comments (1)
  • Print

Crowd attacks Ebola treatment center in Guinea

The mob that attacked the clinic accused Doctors Without Borders health workers of bringing Ebola to Guinea, where there had never previously been any cases.


The Associated Press

Most Popular Comments
Hide / Show comments
Doctors give up huge salaries to go to one of the worst countries in the world to deal ... MORE

advertising

CONAKRY, Guinea — A crowd angry about an Ebola outbreak that has killed 86 people across Guinea attacked a center where patients were being held in isolation, prompting an international-aid group to temporarily evacuate its team, officials said Saturday.

The violence took place in the southern town of Macenta, where at least 14 people have died since the outbreak emerged last month. The mob that attacked the clinic accused Doctors Without Borders health workers of bringing Ebola to Guinea, where there had never previously been any cases.

Some people threw rocks at the aid workers, though no one was seriously hurt, said Sam Taylor, a spokesman for Doctors Without Borders.

“We understand very well that people are afraid because it is a new disease here,” Taylor said. “But these are not favorable working conditions, so we are suspending our activities.”

Patients are continuing to receive treatment from Guinean health-ministry personnel, Taylor said.

Guinea’s government condemned the attack, saying Doctors Without Borders and other international-aid groups are key to stopping the spread of Ebola.

There is no cure for Ebola, which causes fever and severe bleeding, and up to 90 percent of patients die from the strain of the virus that has been detected in Guinea. Some patients are held for observation, and then transferred to another area if they are confirmed to have Ebola.

Confusion about the process has prompted misinformation in the remote part of Guinea. Resident Kolie Martin accused doctors of transferring patients to the isolation ward who had not tested positive for Ebola.

“As soon as someone is brought here, they don’t try to figure out whether he is sick or not, they just transfer him directly to the sick ward. So it’s them who are killing the people who are in good health,” Martin said.

A total of 86 people have died so far from Ebola in Guinea and two other confirmed deaths have been reported in neighboring Liberia. Authorities in Mali are also investigating three suspected cases of Ebola, and they have sent samples overseas for testing.

Experts say Ebola is carried by fruit bats living in West Africa, and it could have been transmitted to a human who ate a bat or another animal that had been bitten by a bat. Health officials emphasize it can only be spread through direct contact with the bodily fluids of someone who is infected. But that hasn’t stopped fear and misinformation from spreading.

In Guinea, passengers on a crowded bus fled at the sight of a man who vomited, fearing he was ill with Ebola. In Mali, people protested in the neighborhood where the suspected Ebola patients were being isolated, fearing their presence.

An Air France flight from the Guinean capital, Conakry, that landed in Paris on Friday was briefly quarantined after the crew discovered indications that a passenger had been sick. After medical checks on board the flight, the 180 passengers and 11 crew members were released, Air France said.



Want unlimited access to seattletimes.com? Subscribe now!

News where, when and how you want it

Email Icon


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►