Ebola Panic Spreads in West Africa as Locals Accuse Aid Workers of Spreading Deadly Virus

Jessica Elgot, Huffington Post, July 4, 2014

When villagers in some of the most remote corners of West Africa began to show symptoms of a deadly, unknown virus, locals tried traditional cures, begged local healers for help, fed the afflicted nourishing meat and buried the dead with care, manually washing the bodies. But these acts have only hastened the spread of the Ebola epidemic currently gripping the region.

Rural communities in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia now face the sudden arrival of strange foreign health workers, clad in spaceman suits. For many the equation is simple–before the arrival of these green-suited and helmeted bods, there was no disease. And now there is.

Deteriorating victims, sick from internal hemorrhaging, are taken from local witch doctors to make-shift hospitals while still-infectious, festering bodies are whisked away before traditional rites can be administered.

The intense fear and anger which surrounds not only the horrifying and mysterious disease, but also the aid workers who come to help, is breeding an atmosphere of mutiny.

The Red Cross in Guinea said it had been forced to suspend operations after staff there were threatened by a knife-wielding gang in the southern town of Gueckedou. In Macenta, in southeastern Guinea, an angry mob attacked an MSF clinic, accusing the aidworkers of bringing in Ebola.

“We’ve suspended operations for safety reasons,” a Red Cross official in West Africa told Reuters, asking not to be named. “I imagine this won’t be the last time this happens.”


Sheffield-born Gwen Wilson, a health delegate with the British Red Cross (BRC), has just returned from Sierra Leone. “There’s a lot of misunderstanding, which breeds fear, and it’s that fear that presents the biggest challenge,” she told HuffPost UK.

“There are a lot of myths, some think the government has planted it in opposition areas; others believe the disease is a punishment, or a result of witchcraft.

“Some families believe that when their loved one goes into the ambulance they will be given an injection to kill them.”

The rural diet is also causing the spread of disease, Wilson said. “In West Africa life is very basic; people are dealing with bushmeat, one of the primary sources of infection. Even though cooked meat is fine, traces of the virus on the hands from preparation can be enough to cause infection.”

Of those who do survive, their recovery is rarely greeted with delight. “People are scared of the survivors so those rare few who do recover from the disease are stigmatised,” Wilson said.

Fieldworkers from MSF and the Red Cross, who have been threatened and attacked, report that villagers often refuse to believe that Ebola exists, because all information is gleaned from local leaders and witchdoctors, who have had no proper briefing from government on the disease.

“They are a trusted source of information so it’s vital they are on board, armed with the right information, as quickly as possible,” Wilson said.

‘Out of control’

Ebola is one of the world’s most deadly diseases, highly infectious and likely to kill 90% of those who catch it. Victims suffer high temperature, vomiting and diarrhea, followed by internal bleeding and multiple organ failure.

Described as “out of control” by Dr Bart Janssens, director of operations for MSF, the current epidemic is already the worst in history, with 467 people dead and almost 300 other suspected or confirmed cases.

And no cure exists. Health workers that are able to treat victims can only attempt to keep the victims comfortable and their temperatures down–and they must dress from head-to-toe in protective suits.

The World Health Organisation has also warned that four other West African countries–Ivory Coast, Senegal, Mali and Guinea Bissau–could be at risk as populations cross borders, meaning millions of people lie in the path of the virus.


More often, misinformation is spreading faster than the health workers can counter it. Text messages have circulated in Guinea, according to Reuters, which claimed Senegalese researchers had found the cure for Ebola–a mixture of hot chocolate, Nescafe, milk, sugar and raw onions taken once a day for three days.

The risk does not stop after death. Traditional methods of burial, involving the manual washing of the body, has been identified as one of the key factors in passing on the disease. One specific ethnicity at risk is the Kissi–who live across all three countries. Bodies of the dead are traditionally kept at home before burial, and mourners touch the head of the corpse.

Witch doctors not the answer

In Kenema, Sierra Leone, rioting broke out as relatives attempted to force their way into an ambulance to retrieve a victim’s body, to give him the traditional burial.

Though Western aid organisations and governments want to convince the afflicted populations that witch doctors and traditional healers are not the answer to the epidemic, the reality is that Western medicine has no cure either.


Topics: , ,

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • JackKrak

    “There’s a lot of misunderstanding, which breeds fear, and it’s that
    fear that presents the biggest challenge,” she told HuffPost UK.

    I speak Guilty White Liberal, so I’ll translate – “There’s a lot of ignorance, which is endemic in Africa, and it’s that ignorance that presents the biggest challenge”.

    • M.Magog

      Let’s put it through the still once more and get something even more potent “Negroes are as dumb as rocks, it’s futile to try to help them, but I want to look like I care and am a good person”

      • gregCall

        Even more accurate than the first translation.

      • TruthBeTold

        Help them and be blamed for causing the problem. Don’t help them and be blamed for not caring.

        When it comes to blacks, it’s always damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

        You can’t win. You can’t even break even.

        • “You can’t win. You can’t even break even.”

          You can walk away from the game.

          • TruthBeTold

            Which is why I personally go out of my way to not interact with non-whites.

      • Alucard_the_last

        If it weren’t for whites, the negro population would be 20% of the total population. China, India, Russia, etc. never give those monsters a dime in aid.

  • MekongDelta69

    “Witch doctors not the answer”

    Of course not dummy. It’s White people’s fault. No matter what.

    • Oil Can Harry

      Whites travel thousands of miles to save Africans from disease. Africans blame the whites for the epidemic and try to kill them.

      There’s a lesson here somewhere…

      • Shadow

        …”There’s a lesson here somewhere…”

        Yeah,never take up the ‘White Man’s Burden”!


        You know who you are.

    • Garrett Brown

      Let’s hope the cure never comes.

  • Who are we to argue with black science?

    • M.Magog

      Where is the peanut genius when they need him?

    • Shadow

      “black science”

      What the hell is that ?!?!

  • phorning

    “Text messages have circulated in Guinea, according to Reuters, which
    claimed Senegalese researchers had found the cure for Ebola–a mixture of
    hot chocolate, Nescafe, milk, sugar and raw onions taken once a day for
    three days.”

    I don’t think I could keep that mixture down.

    • Adolf Verloc

      A few shots of Captain Morgan might do the trick.

      • M.Magog

        tell them that “captain” is another white word for “Doctor”

    • On the bright side, one wouldn’t have to keep eating that sludge for more than three days, as the disease would have been fatal by then.

  • M.Magog

    Oh how I would like to see all those do-gooder doctors be burned as witches. That would be a big blow to the effort to save this retarded race from themselves!

    • Shadow

      I feel the exact same way towards several DWL commenters who post comments on certain evangelical blogs on Patheos.

      • Robert Haschberg

        DWL ?

        • HE2

          Deluded White Liberal.

          • M.Magog

            I thought it stood for “Disingenuous White Liberal”

          • PvtCharlieSlate

            Dip$hit White Liberal.

          • HE2

            LOL! You have that right.
            Yours is a more colorful version.

          • HE2

            I think you are right. Either way, both work. Disingenuous sounds more erudite. We racialists need all the erudition we can muster.
            Loony librards love to paint us with the redneck, uneducated, psycho conspiracy nut brush.

  • Einsatzgrenadier

    This is not our problem. Let’s stop giving foreign aid to these people and let them learn how to take care of themselves. So what if many or most of them die off? No one showed any compassion for whites, who were forced to adapt themselves to the many ecological constraints imposed on them by the harsh winters of Ice Age Europe. Why shouldn’t Africans be treated the same? It’s all about evolution by natural selection or, more colloquially speaking, survival of the fittest. It’s time for whites to leave these people alone, abandon their faux humanitarianism and let evolution, or devolution, do its work.

  • M.Magog

    I hope this spreads to China. It takes three weeks to incubate and is spread by bodily fluids. Chinese have a culture where they expectorate on the streets, very much so in fact.

    • Zaporizhian Sich

      Ebola incubates in well under 24-hours, and within two days victims are dying, riddled with blood clots in their internal organs as well as spreading pockets of necrotic tissue. The virus attacks everything but muscle and bone, it causes zombie like behavior and muscles to detach from the bones. Between five to fourteen days later, the brain finally dies and the body convulses spreading fluids white hot with virus, before dissolving into highly infectious goo.

      • M.Magog

        the incubation period is 2 to 21 days. Most likely in Africans who are malnourished it is 2 days. It could be much more dangerous in China since the people are better fed. The very short incubation period limits it’s spread. A longer incubation period would give it a much greater chance to spread to a much larger population before people start taking precautions, which would be too late.

        • Zaporizhian Sich

          It’s swiftness is it’s weakness, but the fact remains is that IF one infected person gets to a western country, millions could be one incubation period away from a horrible death.

          • JP Rushton

            If I learned anything from games like Virus Inc., where the goal is to infect the entire human population and kill them, the slower it is, the better.

            If something is fast acting, countries can take action before it spreads further. The slower it is, the more it spreads before anyone realizes what is happening.

      • Whitetrashgang

        Holy crap I think The United States might have it.

        • Shadow

          Yes we do.And it’s Americanized name is called Obama.

    • exlib93

      You’re right. I used to live close to Chinatown (can I say that nowadays?) in NYC, and I couldn’t walk a block down Canal Street without seeing a Chinese man (or woman) “hocking up” and spitting on the sidewalk. It’s as if they’ve never heard of a tissue. It’s the filthiest section of Manhattan.

  • M.Magog

    Got to stock up on the popcorn, this could be a good show!

    • Whitetrashgang

      Yes Ebola could be the great white hope if it gets more contagious, that’s something to really hope for. In fact I will pray for it ,something I haven’t done since I was a kid.

      • M.Magog

        last year?

        • Whitetrashgang

          If only honey if only.

          • M.Magog

            “honey”? That isn’t your picture then?

      • willbest

        I would rather something that deadly stay as hard to catch as it is now. HIV is nice in the sense that it only infects those with destructive lifestyles.

    • Irishgirl

      Don’t forget the hot chocolate and onions!

  • M.Magog

    ” according to Reuters, which claimed Senegalese researchers had found the cure for Ebola–a mixture of hot chocolate, Nescafe, milk, sugar and raw onions taken once a day for three days.”—-
    I don’t know about you guys but I think I’m going to buy some stock in Dr. Pepper, and then have someone introduce that down there.

  • IstvanIN

    Please let nature run her course, sometimes she knows best.

  • Who Me?

    The witch doctors haven’t got a cure (naturally) but neither does White science, so, why not leave the Africans to do whatever. Nothing western medicine does is going to stop them dying, and all trying is going to do is make the superstitious natives hate Whites. The solution is clear to anyone not infected with the Liberal Disease. STOP. LEAVE. LET AFRICANS TAKE CARE OF AFRICANS.
    (Now if we could just stop the spread of the Liberal Disease among Whites we’d save a lot of people, and they might even be our own.)

  • cranky_1970

    Just quarantine Africa. In a decade there will be more room for the elephants and lions.

  • dd121

    Wouldn’t it be glorious if it went “viral” and only attacked blacks?

  • Basketeddie

    This is insanity. Leave these people alone and let nature take its course.

  • Billy Clinter

    At least I finally read some good news…

    • ShermanTMcCoy

      Sigh. Billy, I’ve been “moderated” for saying less.

  • Valmont

    “People are dealing with bushmeat, one of the primary sources of infection.”
    The article finds it inconvenient to mention that “bushmeat” in this region is from bats and rats. Such vibrant diversity!

    • ShermanTMcCoy

      and monkeys, too!

      • M.Magog

        Monkeys are dealing with bushmeat?

        • SoulInvictus

          Monkeys…”bush meat”… so many jokes…

      • And bats. Yes, *BATS*. Bats are the most likely reservoir for ebola. Anyone who would eat a dried, smoked, but otherwise uncooked bat is already sick; ebola is just icing on the cake.

        • Zaporizhian Sich

          They ARE the natural host of this destroyer, a common fruit bat at that. The urine, droppings as well as the bat itself are all highly infectious.

          • When I was in Australia, workers at horse tracks were coming down with a serious “mystery ailment”. It turned out that it was being carried by the big “flying fox” fruit bats, who were excreting waste onto the fields.

          • Zaporizhian Sich

            Indeed, and the same virus was killing a very high percentage of both horses and their caretakers. That virus is deadly with much higher mortality rate than smallpox.

    • I hope everyone has stocked up on Bon’s eye bleach. While most of the bush meat in this picture is some sort of rodent, the object on the upper right appears to be a bat.

  • IKUredux

    Here’s the bottom line: Die you ignorant naggers, die. You are too stupid to live. HOW MUCH MORE ARE WE WHITES TO SACRIFICE TO BRING THESE FING SAVAGES INTO THE NEW CENTURY? They are too underdeveloped to understand the modern world. How many White lives are needed to be sacrificed before they have even a rudimentary idea of disease? Well. let’s do the math: It will take these savages at least another 20,000 years to even begin to catch up to Whites. So, how many dead Whites is that? TOO FING MANY!

    • M.Magog

      This story is similar to the story about the fire in Philadelphia last week. Negroes burn their houses down and then they blame others for what happened.

  • M.Magog

    IF I remember correctly, this outbreak started when some africans ate soup made from bats that had not been fully cooked. So I guess “bat wings”,as opposed to angel wings, come with the soup.

  • Alucard_the_last

    I really hope this spreads faster than the black plague. Africa is a very useful continent but it is ruled by barbarians and homo erectus.

    • Black Plague

      Did someone call?? lol 😉

  • Den Christe

    red cross, stop the interferance and let nature take her course

  • Black Plague

    Everyone can thank me now!

  • kury

    does anyone here knows if this disease affects also white people? I guess it does but I wonder… AIDS and other ailments do affect mostly blacks and not only because of their behavior.
    But I can’t find that information anywhere