Ebola: Guineans riot in Nzerekore over disinfectant

Conarky. Residents of Guinea’s second-biggest city have rioted after the market was sprayed with disinfectant in a bid to halt the spread of the Ebola virus.

Conarky. Residents of Guinea’s second-biggest city have rioted after the market was sprayed with disinfectant in a bid to halt the spread of the Ebola virus.

Health workers and the hospital in Nzerekore were attacked by people reportedly shouting: “Ebola is a lie”.

The exact cause of the riot is not clear - some also reportedly feared the spray would spread Ebola.

The current outbreak of Ebola began in Guinea, and has killed more than 1,500 people in four countries.

There have been relatively few cases in Guinea recently, with far higher infection rates in neighbouring Liberia and Sierra Leone, and six deaths in Nigeria.

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday warned that it could get much worse and infect more than 20,000 people. Journalist Guilana Fidel Monou told the BBC French service from Nzerekore that many people there still do not believe that Ebola exists.

He said that a market was sprayed following a funeral - although the death was not the result of Ebola.

Local traders were apparently not warned and held a protest march to the city’s hospital, which was attacked.

Police responded by firing tear gas.

Local Red Cross workers had to flee to a military base, reports the Reuters news agency.

Youssouf Traore, president of the Guinean Red Cross, said the rioters had fired guns.

“A rumour, which was totally false, spread that we had sprayed the market in order to transmit the virus to locals,” Mr Traore said.

This is not the first time that health workers trying to combat Ebola have been attacked.

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