African immigrants 'facing' Ebola backlash

African immigrants 'facing' Ebola backlash
Published: 2014 October 05 20:51:18 (8650 Views)
African immigrants in Dallas and other cities in the US are now worried about being 'tainted' after a Liberian man was diagnosed with Ebola in Texas.

"Some people around here see us as bringing the disease and that's just not right," said a Liberian who asked to be called Sekou, fearful that he and other West African immigrants are going to face bias in their US home because of the sick man.

The Dallas case, the first diagnosed case of Ebola in the United States, has put authorities and the public on alert over concerns that the worst epidemic of Ebola on record could spread from West Africa, where it began in March.

The World Health Organization on Friday updated its death toll to at least 3,439 out of 7,492 suspected, probable and confirmed cases.

The epidemic has hit hardest in impoverished Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.



Some US politicians have called on President Barack Obama to consider a travel ban from the Ebola-hit countries.

Somali immigrants wearing traditional clothing that includes headscarves for women, have seen fingers pointed their way in the streets.

"People are looking at us in a bad way. We didn't have anything to do with this. Somalia does not have Ebola. It is on the other side of Africa," said Shadiya Abdi, 27, an immigrant from Somalia.

At schools in Vickery Park, where five students who came in close contact with the man identified as Duncan have temporarily stopped attending school, some of the other children of African immigrants have been branded 'Ebola kids'," politician Williams said.

At a Dallas specialty food store for African goods, customers said shutting borders is useless, especially in West Africa, where many do not know where the lines are drawn and it is easy to walk from one country to the next.

Some people say it is a good thing that Ebola came to the United States because it will focus the attention on eliminating the disease.



Source - Reuters

Tags: immigrants, Ebola,
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