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Africa

Video: Tracking down Liberia’s Ebola carriers

© FRANCE 24 screen shot

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-08-13

As health officials in West Africa face an uphill struggle to convince locals with Ebola-like symptoms to seek appropriate medical care, Liberia has set up a task force to track down potential virus carriers to try to contain the deadly outbreak.

The killer virus - spread by direct contact with bodily fluids - has so far killed 1,013 since it was detected in Guinea in March. It has since crossed the borders into Sierra Leone, Liberia and  Nigeria.

On Tuesday, the United States authorised the export of sample doses of the experimental Ebola drug ZMapp to Liberia to treat two doctors who have been infected by Ebola.

Although not a proven cure, it is hoped the drug could help battle the virulent virus, which has killed more than 300 Liberians.

The fear of stigmatisation, however, has so far made locals reluctant to seek appropriate medical care.

FRANCE 24 travelled with a local Red Cross team in Liberia as it tracked down a woman suspected to be at risk after both her son and husband died from Ebola.

When the team finally found the woman, she refused to talk for fear of the news she might receieve.

“They feel that when we come to their houses we are going to report that they are Ebola patients,” said Beyoh Peter Fayiah, a health officer at the Liberian Red Cross.”Some of them, when they see us, when they see us, they start to cry.”

Click on the player above to watch the full report.
 

Date created : 2014-08-12

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