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Sierra Leonean ''healer'' Responsible For Ebola Outbreak In Her Country - Health - Nairaland

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Sierra Leonean ''healer'' Responsible For Ebola Outbreak In Her Country by Nobody: 5:56pm On Aug 20, 2014
[size=20pt]Sierra Leone's 365 Ebola deaths traced back to one healer.....AFP[/size]

Kenema (Sierra Leone) (AFP) - It has laid waste to the tribal chiefdoms of Sierra Leone, leaving hundreds dead, but the Ebola crisis began with just one healer's claims to special powers.

[size=15pt]The outbreak need never have spread from Guinea, health officials revealed to AFP, except for a herbalist in the remote eastern border village of Sokoma.

"She was claiming to have powers to heal Ebola. Cases from Guinea were crossing into Sierra Leone for treatment," Mohamed Vandi, the top medical official in the hard-hit district of Kenema, told AFP.

"She got infected and died. During her funeral, women around the other towns got infected

Ebola has killed more than 1,220 people since it emerged in southern Guinea at the start of the year, spreading first to Liberia and cutting a gruesome and gory swathe through eastern Sierra Leone since May.

The tropical pathogen can turn people into de facto corpses with little higher brain function and negligible motor control days before they die.

The virus attacks almost every section of tissue, reducing organs and flesh in the most aggressive infections to a pudding-like mush which leaches or erupts from the body.

The virus is highly infectious through exposure to bodily fluids, and its early rapid spread in west Africa was attributed in part to relatives touching victims during traditional funeral rites.

The herbalist's mourners fanned out across the rolling hills of the Kissi tribal chiefdoms, starting a chain reaction of infections, deaths, funerals and more infections.

[size=15pt]A worrying outbreak turned into a major epidemic when the virus finally hit Kenema city on June 17.

An ethnically-diverse, Krio-speaking city of 190,000, Kenema already has the highest incidence of Lassa fever -- another viral haemorrhagic disease -- in the world.

But the brutality and cold efficiency of the Ebola virus -- described in medical literature as a "molecular shark" -- caught the city's shabby, chaotic hospital off-guard.

More at:https://news.yahoo.com/sierra-leones-365-ebola-deaths-traced-back-one-065404276.html


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