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Ebola in Sierra Leone: Myths and Misconceptions

THE GUARDIAN   in 
August 18, 2014

From dispelling rumours about how Ebola came to Sierra Leone to sharing the success stories of survivors, aid agencies are helping people come to terms with the reality of the disease in their midst

The first case of Ebola in Sierra Leone was reported in Kailahun district in May. It has since spread to Kenema district, which is now the worst-hit area in the country. There are more than 45 patients inside the Kenema treatment centre, which is stretched to capacity. Like many communities in Sierra Leone, the people of Kenema are trying to understand the disease and decipher the rumours, myths and misconceptions surrounding it.

A health worker wearing protective gear offers water to a woman with Ebola in Kenema. Workers in the treatment centre are stretched to capacity. The UN children’s agency, Unicef, is supporting the hospital by providing intravenous fluids, protective gear and body bags. As of 4 August, 1,711 cases, including 932 deaths, had been attributed to Ebola in the four west African countries of Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. Sierra Leone has had 691 of these cases (576 confirmed, 49 probable and 66 suspected), including 286 deaths.

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