Local superstitions

4 Aug, 2014

Health officials say local superstitions are turning away patients from seeking medical care, worsening the outbreak. In Liberia’s Lofa county, health workers trying to screen two communities were chased away with knives and cutlasses, while in other communities Ebola is seen as a ‘curse’ for things like sexual promiscuity. A Red Cross volunteer says some patients favour traditional remedies such as bathing in salt water at midnight.¬†UNICEF Ebola coordinator Fabio Friscia:

What is actually creating the greatest problem is the behavior of the population … It is absolutely something we could expect. The population is being attacked by an absolutely new disease no one [in western Africa] has ever seen before.

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