AS the outbreak of the deadly west African Ebola disease worsens, a doctor treating infected aptients has revealed many are refusing treatment over its links to witchcraft and sorcery.
Doctor Benjamin Black, 32, a volunteer with Doctors Without Borders (MSF) in Sierra Leone, told the UK Telegraph that some of those in infected areas were not seeking medical treatment as they thought the disease was the work of sorcerers.
“There is a section of population here who simply don’t believe Ebola is real, they think it is witchcraft and so they don’t come to the treatment centres,” he told the UK Telegraph.
The medical charity said the crisis gripping Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone could spread to other continents and warns there is no overarching strategy to handle the world’s worst-ever outbreak of the disease.
Amid rising fears that the deadly virus could spread to the US, there are already plans to subject even healthy Americans into forced quarantine in the event of an Ebola pandemic.
Western doctors are now on the lookout for symptoms of the disease after the death of US citizen Patrick Sawyer, who travelled through a major transport hub in Nigeria. prompted fears that the disease could spread to the US.
Symptoms of the disease, which has anywhere from a 50 to 90 per cent mortality rate, include headache, fever, joint and muscle aches, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, and lack of appetite.
There are now fears that the deadly and highly contagious virus will be passed on through air travel.
Florida congressman Alan Grayson has called on the Obama Government to impose a travel ban in response to the growing Ebola virus outbreak, the Huffington Post reports.
“This latest case is particularly troubling because Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos is the third busiest airport in Africa, and it offers direct flights to the United States,” he wrote in a letter addressed to US Secretary of State John Kerry.
“I urge you to consider the enhanced danger Ebola now presents to the American public, and therefore request that appropriate travel restrictions be implemented immediately.”
Stephen Monroe, the deputy director of the National Centre for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, also warned of the dangers of air travel.
“It’s possible that someone could become infected with the Ebola virus in Africa and then get on a plane to the United States,” he said.
Full article: Ebola fears grow as experts say epidemic could spread to US, Europe and Asia remain on alert (Herald Sun)