Sierra Leonean Health Officials Claim Herbalist Caused Ebola Outbreak In The Country

Health officials in Sierra Leone have blamed the outbreak of the deadly Ebola Virus on a female herbalist who claimed to have power to heal people of the disease. The health officials said the disease should not have spread from Guinea to Sierra Leone, but for the herbalist.

“She was claiming to have powers to heal Ebola. Cases from Guinea were crossing into Sierra Leone for treatment. She got infected and died. During her funeral, women around the other towns got infected,” Mohamed Vandi, the top medical official in the hard-hit district of Kenema, told Agence France-Presse.

The herbalist’s mourners fanned out across the rolling hills of the Kissi tribal chiefdoms, starting a chain reaction of infections, deaths, funerals and more infections. A worrying outbreak however turned into a major epidemic when the virus finally hit Kenema city on June 17, health officials say.

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