Ebola outbreak ‘worst ever’; Red Cross vehicle attacked in Guinea by fearful locals

Ebola outbreak ‘worst ever’; Red Cross vehicle attacked in Guinea by fearful locals

Health ministers from 11 West African countries began a two-day Emergency Ministerial meeting in Accra, Ghana, Wednesday amid concern the outbreak of the Ebola virus that began in Ghana could spread across their region as an uncontrolled pandemic.

In a statement distributed at the United Nations, the World Health Organization, WHO, classified the current Ebola outbreak as the worst ever.

The outbreak traces back to cases appearing in rural Guinea in March, which spread across Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. So far, a total of 750 cases and 455 deaths have been reported in the affected countries, according to WHO.

Reuters reported Wednesday the Red Cross was forced to temporarily suspend some operations in the country’s southeast after a marked Red Cross vehicle was confronted and stopped by a knife-wielding mob that was concerned the medical workers were responsible for spreading the disease. …

In a series of heart-breaking emails written home, U.S.-based doctor William Fisher described the brutal reality of the rampant Ebola epidemic he experienced working for three weeks with physicians from Médecins Sans Frontières, or Doctors Without Borders, in a cement building in West Guinea set up to treat victims.

In an email June 2, Fisher described the death of a patient:

Today was a pretty tough day – one of the first two patients I admitted on May 30 died. I walked into his room and he was on the floor half naked surrounded by bloody emesis and diarrhea. I put him back in bed, bathed him, and put fresh clothes on him and as I finished he died.

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It’s pretty emotional to bathe a 27-year-old man who was incredibly strong and rendered completely helpless. His sister is next door and will likely die in the next hour. This is all in front of the other patients in the room, many of whom are family members or neighbors. The despair is suffocating. My computer is running out of batteries. Sorry, more to come.

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