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Last Updated: Monday, 7 July, 2003, 12:02 GMT 13:02 UK
Ebola: A latter-day plague

BBC Radio 4's Crossing Continents was broadcast on Thursday, 10 July, 2003 at 11:00 BST.

The ebola virus is one of the world's most deadly diseases - a latter-day plague. It is thought to be transmitted to humans by infected gorillas, chimps and other animals which are sold as "bush meat".

Crossing Continents journeyed to the heart of an ebola outbreak in Central Africa.

Once infected, four out five people die; they bleed from every orifice and frequently transmit the virus to those caring for them. Even the corpse of an ebola victim is contagious.

Pascale Harter went to the site of an ebola outbreak to hear from doctors trying to contain the epidemic and a local teacher who described how four of his colleagues were accused of witchcraft and murdered.

Their "crime" was having attempted to educate their students about how to avoid catching ebola.

On the way back to the capital, Brazzaville, Pascale herself started to feel unwell and another nightmare began.

Reporter: Pascale Harter
Producer: Geoff Adams-Spink
Editor: Hugh Levinson



Crossing Continents

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SEE ALSO:
My brush with Ebola
11 Mar 03 |  Africa
Congo Ebola 'under control'
08 Apr 03 |  Africa
Ebola and other tropical viruses
08 Feb 03 |  Medical notes


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