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West Africans in New York City worry about Ebola stigma

Friday, November 07, 2014 - 01:33

West African immigrants on New York's Staten Island are concerned over the spreading Ebola virus and their families back home. Nathan Frandino reports.

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A world away from West Africa, an enclave in New York City is living in the shadow of Ebola. On Staten Island, where storefronts advertise calling cards for the region, live more than 6,000 immigrants from Liberia -- one of the countries hardest hit by the worst outbreak of the virus on record. Residents here say, it's impossible to escape the tragedy's impact. (SOUNDBITE) (English) AYA FOFANA, LITTLE LIBERIA RESIDENT, SAYING: "I feel very bad, because anyhow it's my family, so we just pray for all over the world, we pray for them. Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, because we're brothers, so we just pray for everybody." The virus has killed nearly 5,000 people, of more than 13,500 infected in eight countries. Some Liberians on Staten Island say they're worried about being stigmatized. (SOUNDBITE) (English) JAMES BESTMAN, PRESIDENT AND FOUNDER OF THE LIBERIAN CULTURAL ASSOCIATION, SAYING: "We're still having problems with all the people receiving us on the job as well as visiting hospitals, even when you go to the hospital right now, they're going to ask you, 'have you been to Liberia lately or Africa lately?' So it's still been tough for us on the job as well as day to day activities." But as the bad news from home continues to permeate the expat community here..residents go about their daily lives grateful for their own good health, but worrying about friends and family thousands of miles away.

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West Africans in New York City worry about Ebola stigma

Friday, November 07, 2014 - 01:33