Ebola bat­tle ‘like a hor­ror film’

Toronto Sun - - NEWS -

NAIROBI — The med­i­cal an­thro­pol­o­gist was in the shower when she heard the first pops of gun­fire.

Ini­tially, she thought it might be the ac­tion movie she had left play­ing on high vol­ume.

Then the wall shook.

The vi­o­lence in east­ern Congo, which has stymied the in­ter­na­tional re­sponse to a grow­ing Ebola out­break in the re­gion, had ar­rived at the guest­house used by many of those work­ing to pre­vent the dis­ease’s spread.

Ter­ri­fied, Juli­enne Anoko dropped to the floor and crawled into the cor­ri­dor out­side her room.

She and five oth­ers from UN agen­cies, Congo’s health min­istry and the World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion, which she works for, hid in an­other bath­room for three hours un­til a UN peace­keep­ing force ar­rived and gave the all-clear.

“It was like a hor­ror film,” Anoko said of the Nov. 16 at­tack in the city of Beni, the epi­cen­tre of the out­break.

At­tacks by armed groups hap­pen on a daily ba­sis across Congo’s North Kivu prov­ince, where the Ebola virus has been spreading since Au­gust, in­fect­ing al­most 500 peo­ple and killing more than 270.

AP FILES

A health worker sprays dis­in­fec­tant on a col­league af­ter work­ing at an Ebola treat­ment cen­tre in Beni, in east­ern Congo, in Septem­ber.

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