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A disease with no cure is killing people in Angola

By April 15, 2005

Angola (MNN) — Missionary and relief workers in Angola are concerned about a virus that has no cure and has a high death rate. It’s called the Marburg virus.

World Vision’s John Yale is in Angola and says people who get the disease aren’t responding to treatment. “Of the 233 reported cases, 210 have resulted in deaths. The numbers are going up and given the difficulty of getting information especially in remote areas, it’s difficult to know how bad it is.”

Yale says he’s concerned because the disease that’s hitting the northern part of the country is spread by person to person contact. He says they’re spending $125,000 to respond. “We’re using that to purchase protective clothing, like caps and gloves and aprons, and masks for health workers working in the area.” Bikes are also being used to transport health workers into the countryside to educate the public.

Health workers have been adversely affected by the Marburg disease. Yale says, “Many of the health workers involved have died because it’s a very contagious disease and so because the health workers come in direct contact with the victims they are easily exposed, and like I said there’s no cure.”

According to reports, the outbreak of the rare but lethal virus, which causes fever and circulatory collapse, is the worst ever recorded.

The hopelessness is giving Christians a chance to help more than physically. “It’s a time when Christians can share their faith. It’s a time when the churches can become involved and assist. Although, being so contagious and so deadly, it’s very difficult for people to engage.”

Prayer is needed. “Pray for the health workers who are very exposed and at great risk. Pray for organizations like World Vision. It’s very difficult for us to know what to do.”

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