April 28, 2014 8:55 AM
DAKAR — As medical experts work to control the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, survivors and their families say they are being stigmatized. While some people are welcomed back into their communities after they recover, many are shunned due to fear of contagion. Health workers say education is key.
Family and friends gathered in Lofa County, Liberia, last week to welcome home 48-year-old Joseph Taylor, who was falsely suspected of being infected with the Ebola virus. Taylor’s wife died earlier this month after contracting the disease from her sister.
“People wanted to stone me, but I said I will fight this and I will make it. So today, I am happy that I am among you again. You can be around me. You are my friends. I forgive everybody,” said Taylor.
Liberia’s Ministry of Health presented Taylor and his family with a medical certificate at a community ceremony, confirming that he is Ebola-free so he will not be shunned by the community.
There have been at least 34 suspected cases of Ebola in Liberia. More than 135 people have died in neighboring Guinea, where the virus first broke out# in February.
Liberia’s chief medical officer, Dr. Bernice Dahn, said discrimination of Ebola survivors has been a serious challenge. “What happened to him [Mr. Taylor] has happened to many others, in other communities. Today we can know, we can all know, that people who come in contact with infected people can actually be safe. They can live in the community again and go about their normal duty,” she said.
The World Health Organization said while Ebola is one of the most contagious viral infections, it is actually quite difficult to catch. The virus can only be transmitted through direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person who is exhibiting symptoms.
But many people, such as Mariam Camara, a market vendor in Conakry, said they are reluctant to associate with anyone who has been or may be infected.
She said, “At first they told us it was not a curable disease. Then, after some time, we also learned that there are people who are cured of it. But me personally, when there are people that are cured, I am still scared.” She said, “It truly frightens me. A sickness that kills people indiscriminately, without a cure - that is not reassuring in my opinion. So I am frightened.”
Earlier this month, a hospital in Conakry, where three people died from Ebola, was forced to shut down because people were too afraid to enter the building.
Guinea’s Ministry of Health has stopped naming the neighborhoods where suspected cases occur, due to ongoing fear and stigmatization.
Timothy La Rose is a spokesperson for the United Nations Children's Fund, which has been working on educating communities about the reality of Ebola. He spoke to VOA from Conakry.
“One of the first steps UNICEF took in the response to Ebola was to get the correct information out directly to the people, especially in the affected areas. So we have been daily visiting mosques, churches, schools ... going door to door, going on the radio, distributing leaflets and information, so that people understand Ebola, and they understand how it transfers and how it spreads, and how it does not,” he said.
La Rose said that in addition to community sensitization programs, UNICEF has been giving soap and chlorine to households and health facilities in the affected areas in order to protect people and to help break the transmission chain of the virus.
Health workers in both Guinea and Liberia say they are encouraging people to welcome survivors of Ebola back into their communities and to offer them their support.
outbreak (n) (戰爭、疾病)爆發xxxxxx拆開後可變成動詞片語：break out，指疾病、戰爭的爆發，新聞中也有此用法
stigmatize (v) 誣蔑；指責；給. . .汙名化XXXXX*stigma (n) 汙名，stigmatization (n) 汙名化
contagion (n) 傳染，感染XXXXX contagious (a) 有傳染力的、會傳染的
contract (v) 感染到XXXXX本字也很常見的是名詞用法，是「合約」的意思，發音是：，在這裡當動詞用時，發音是：；動詞與名詞的重音位置不同，需注意！另外，動詞作此解時，用法上是屬於主動的，人「感染到某種疾病」，後面可再加上from來說明疾病的來源，見新聞中的用法
醫學專家努力控制西非爆發(outbreak)的伊波拉(Ebola)疫情，而染病康復的人與其家屬卻反映仍遭汙名化(stigmatized)。有些人在康復後，社區的人歡迎他們回來，但許多康復者卻是被拒絕在外(shunned)，因為怕被傳染的恐懼(fear of contagion)。醫事人員認為，教育是關鍵(key)。
上周在賴比瑞亞(Liberia)的洛法郡，家人與朋友們聚集在一起(gather)歡迎48歲的Joseph Taylor回家。他曾被誤以為也 (. . . was falsely suspected of . . .) 感染了伊波拉病毒。他妻子從姊妹那感染到疾病(contract the disease from . . .)，本月稍早已死亡。
transmit (v) 傳播XXXXX*可用在「訊號、訊息」或「病毒、細菌」的傳播上，例如 “The US Open will be transmitted live via satellite.” (美國公開賽將透過衛星即時轉播)；「性行為傳染的疾病」一詞，也是使用這個字： sexually transmitted disease (常縮寫成STD)
reluctant (a) 不甘願，不願意的
indiscriminately (adv) 無差異、一視同仁地XXXXX*這個字可以把字首表示反意的in與副詞字尾的ly去掉，剩下就是動詞discriminate，是「區別、辨別」的意思，片語discriminate against somebody則是「歧視某人」的意思；新聞中也有名詞discrimination的用法
reassuring (a) 可靠的，能令人放心的
世界衛生組織表示，伊波拉雖然是高傳染性的病毒性傳染病 (viral infections)，但事實上要被感染卻不是那麼容易。這病毒的傳播 (transmit) 只透過直接接觸(through direct contact with . . . ) 已展現症狀的被感染人的體液 (bodily fluids)。
但一位市場的小販 (market vendor) 說，人們不願 (reluctant) 與曾被感染或是有可能被感染的人扯上關係 (associate with . . .)。她說：「一開始他們說這是無法醫治的病，但過一陣子，又聽到有人被治好了。但就我個人而言，就算有人被治好了，我還是害怕。這種不分對象 (indiscriminately) ，沒有藥醫，會致命的病真的很令人無法感到放心 (reassuring)。」
leaflet (n) 傳單
chlorine (n) 氯XXXXX*注意發音：
聯合國兒童基金會 (UNICEF, United Nations Children's Fund) 的一位發言人表示，現在除了提升社區意識與敏感度(sensitization)的計畫之外，他們也發送肥皂與氯(chlorine)給疫情影響區的家庭與醫療機構，保護群眾與破壞病毒的傳染鏈。
編按：動詞sensitize是除了具體的指「對. . .敏感」之外，抽象的意思是「使具. . .意識」。community sensitization是指讓大眾可以對某些議題有完善的資訊，提升認識與意識。在教育不普及、資訊封閉，或政府效率不彰的地方，社會或醫療工作者必須透過有效的方式與多方的管道來傳播正確的知識。有正確的知識與認知後，對疾病預防或治療能採取有效的作為，或是除去社會文化中因為不了解而產生的各種歧視與偏見。可以參考這個推廣打疫苗來預防子宮頸癌的(cervical cancer)網站對community sensitization的說明與實踐方式。
viral這個字是virus的形容詞，發音是:，新聞中viral infections指的是病毒性的傳染病。在網路世代，熱門的影像或訊息會在網路使用者之間快速而廣泛的流傳，現在常看到 “viral video” 這個說法，意思就是指網路上被快速傳播與轉發的「爆紅的影片」，已經沒有病毒或疾病的意思了。也有搭配動詞的用法 “go viral”，例句： “The video went viral and was seen by millions.” (這個影片在網路上爆紅，有百萬人看過了。)
這幾天網路上也有一個viral video，介紹這個熱門影片的新聞網頁也用go viral一詞描述： “A man’s reaction to learning he was going to be a grandfather for the first time has gone viral.” (一位男子得知升格當祖父後當下的反應在網路上爆紅了。)
但早在網路普及之前就存在的 “computer virus” 一詞，仍是指讓電腦當機或是修改與竊取資料的「電腦病毒」，可就不是什麼熱門的好東西了。
Check your vocabulary!
Fill in the blanks with a word or phrase from the list above. Make necessary changes. After you finish, select the text below to reveal the hidden answers.
1. Thousands of people died as the result of this latest cholera outbreak.
2. Orwell contracted tuberculosis during the war and eventually died from the disease.
3. Some of the older staff were reluctant to use the new equipment.
4. Students were handing out election leaflets at the station.
5. When she asked him if he had a sexually transmitted disease, he said no.
6. It is reassuring that both data sets give very similar results.