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Caritas staff in the diocese of N'Zérékoré are among the team helping to contain the Ebola outbreak.

Caritas staff in the diocese of N’Zérékoré are among the team helping to contain the Ebola outbreak.

Caritas Guinea (OCPH) is part of efforts aimed at containing an outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in the West African country.

Over the past few days, the deadly haemorrhagic fever has quickly spread from the communities of Macenta, Guéckédou, and Kissidougou to the capital, Conakry.

Ebola is one of the most virulent viral diseases known to humankind. Outbreaks have a case fatality rate of up to 90 percent. Outbreaks can be particulaly devastating because medical staff are among the first victims

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says the Ebola outbreak in Guinea is very serious, but has not reached epidemic proportions. Liberia has also had cases test positive and Sierra Leone has suspected cases.

Caritas is working with the government and the UN’s children agency, UNICEF, in the most affected areas.

The Ebola fever spreads by contact with infected people or animals.

Caritas is focusing on providing information on how to prevent the spread of the virus and distributing soap and chlorine to over 100,000 people.

Thirty two-person teams are going door-to-door explaining how how to prevent contracting the virus and giving out the soap and cholrine. Caritas plans to distribute 144,000 pieces of soap and 28,800 bottles of chlorine.

Plus public health messages are being transmitted in French and seven local languages through radio broadcasts, through community leaders and through leaflets, posters and roadside billboards.  This includes information on hand washing with soap as well as water treatment with chlorine at home.

Caritas Guinea is working closley with Catholic Relief Services, Caritas Italy and the Caritas Internationalis in responding to the outbreak.