Guinea – Spread of deadly Ebola virus to Guinea capital raises fears; at least 70 dead

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(29 Mar 2014)

Spread of deadly Ebola virus to Guinea capital raises fears; at least 70 dead
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Conakry – 29 Mar 2014
1. Wide exterior shot of China Guinea Cooperation hospital, in Kepi area of Conakry, where Ebola patient died on 17 March
2. Wide of medical staff in protective clothing outside emergency unit
3. Mid of man eating rice near Ministry of Health building
4. Wide of Ignace Deen National Hospital building
5. SOUNDBITE: (English) Mohamed Sow, wife admitted to Ignace Deen hospital:
“i’m panicked, I’m very confused. Two days now, we are still on our legs. People are crying down at the hospital, they need help. They need the international help. Everybody is frightened, everybody. Even the children.”
6. Mid of Mohamed Sow and brother eating outside hospital
7. Mid of people in cafe bar in front of hospital, discussing Ebola epidemic and watching TV
8. Mid of boy drinking water from container in road
9. Various of rubbish being burned in street

STORYLINE:

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 it could spread far beyond the tiny West African nation’s borders.

In the first outbreak of its kind in the country, the Ebola virus which causes severe bleeding, has killed at least 70 people including one man whose family brought him to Conakry, the capital, for medical treatment.

Health officials warn that the arrival of Ebola in this sprawling city of some 2 (m) million people with an international airport could spell disaster.

Guinea is among the poorest countries in the world.

It has severely limited medical facilities and has a large population living in shanty areas, prompting fears the virus could spread quickly.

Panic already has grown among residents since the government announced the Conakry cases March 27th 2014 on national television.

“i’m panicked, I’m very confused. Two days now, we are still on our legs. People are crying down at the hospital, they need help. They need the international help. Everybody is frightened, everybody. Even the children,” said Mohamed Sow, whose wife has been admitted to a local hospital.

Alhassan Conde, a resident in the Guinean capital, said: “The way this Ebola epidemic is going is very dangerous, everybody is in a panic now, this can kill a man faster.”

Medical teams have been travelling on foot to villages where cases have been reported.

International aid groups are trying to educate Guineans about how the disease is spread, and working to identify and isolate anyone who may have been exposed.

“We are now providing as you can see, chlorine, soap, gloves, all of them, and we think they have what they need in the hospitals to protect themselves,” said UNICEF official Mohamed Ayoya.

“We are providing today enough for 1,700 households, which represents 1,700 health workers who are working in those health service.”

More than 110 people have fallen ill already and authorities in neighbouring Liberia and Sierra Leone are also investigating suspected cases.

There is no cure for the Ebola disease and the virus strain in Guinea has a fatality rate of up to 90 percent.

The virus causes severe hemorrhagic fever in patients, in some cases leading to grisly deaths as patients bleed both internally and externally.

Its initial symptoms are high fever, headache and weakness can mimic malaria.

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