Via FrontPageAfrica: 2,000 villagers at Risk: New Suspected Ebola Cases in Bong. Excerpt:
Sanoyea District, Bong County - The highly infectious Ebola virus has claimed three lives in Bong County with three more confirmed cases in Sanoyea district, about 40 miles from Gbarnga.
A further two suspected patients, including two children, are being treated, while 10 villagers are being monitored after coming into contact with the dead or hospitalized, Bong County Health Team has disclosed.
The first victims were a 29-year-old, father-of-three motorcycle taxi rider, his wife and 40-year-old sister. About 2,000 villagers are deemed to be at risk from the disease in a poor and remote farming region. ‘After two days of admission with no improvement at a community health center, the Pehn-Pehn rider was transferred to a clinic,’ says a source at the Bong County Health said.
‘He had high grade fever, bloody diarrhea and was vomiting and sadly died two days later. A few days after the taxi rider’s burial, his wife and sister were also taken ill and later succumbed to the same illness. People are worried because they’re not sure who they’ve come in contact with,’ the County Health Team added.
Initial efforts by the County Health Team and the leadership of the county to contain the outbreak have been challenged by a myth it is the work of witchcraft. One woman was admitted to the Phebe hospital prior to its closure from a traditional healer’s home, where she went for remedies. ‘In a bid to trace people who had contact with the deceased taxi rider, the district task force on Ebola visited his fellow riders, but all of them thought that ‘bad people’ in the community sent the disease by powers of witchcraft,’ hospital sources said.
‘One of the myths common in Bong County is that loved ones fall sick because of witchcraft.
‘Quite often people with such belief, lose valuable time in seeking traditional interventions in the community, only to report to the formal health facilities too late,’ the source added.