Guinea grapples with a fresh Ebola outbreak

Geneva, March 6 (AFP/APP): As Guinea grapples with a fresh Ebola outbreak, community resistance to measures needed to rein in the deadly virus remains dangerously high, a top Red Cross official has warned.

Guinea confirmed the disease was back in mid-February following first deaths the previous month. The west African country and international actors have reacted swiftly to stop the spread, isolating and treating cases, tracking contacts and launching a vaccination campaign. But Emanuele Capobianco, the health chief at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said reluctance within communities to go along with measures was an obstacle.

“What we are seeing on the ground is quite a lot of community resistance and also some religious resistance,” he said in an interview Friday. This is not surprising, he said, pointing out that “Ebola is a disease that scares people. It is a dramatic disease that kills a lot.”

Ebola, which is transmitted through close contact with bodily fluids, causes severe fever and, in the worst cases, unstoppable bleeding. Death rates are high, at around 50 percent on average of those infected, and up to 90 percent for some epidemics, World Health Organization data shows.

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