By JOSEPH ROGERS AP special correspondentWASHINGTON (AP) A young girl has found a way to live on candy in the midst of the Ebola outbreak.
The candy-loving candy addict named Sophia has been hiding in a candy crate on a remote island off the coast of Guinea for two months and is taking her story on the road, to raise awareness about the virus and the need to get rid of it.
Sophia is the first of the hundreds of children who have been hiding out in quarantine at the U.S. Consulate in Conakry, Guinea, after the outbreak started last week.
She said she and her mother were the only people who were allowed to leave the quarantine area.
The Ebola outbreak is now in its third year and it is believed to be the world’s deadliest since the disease first began to emerge in 1976.
It has killed more than 11,000 people.
Sola is one of dozens of children at the consulate who have become a symbol of the crisis.
Some are mothers, mothers with children who are trying to hide from the virus.
They are staying in hotels, nursing homes and other public accommodations.
They say the Ebola pandemic has forced them to hide their faces.
Sophia has become a viral symbol of fear.
Solas mother is a nurse and Sophia says she has to be strong for her baby to survive.SOPHIA’S LIFE in quarantine Sophia said she has been in quarantine since November when the virus first started spreading.
She and her family live on a small island in the Gulf of Guinea where she and three other children have been living for about two months.
The mother and four children live in a makeshift tent with a mosquito net.
They are staying at the Consulate’s Conakries Hospital for children in the city of Kinshasa, and are going to a friend’s house in the neighboring town of Barre in the coming days.
The family said the only food they have is bananas.
The outbreak started when Liberian aid worker Thomas Eric Duncan, a 42-year-old American doctor, arrived in Conkry in late November.
Duncan died at a hospital in the capital, Monrovia, and the Liberian government has said the virus is spreading through the country.
At first, the virus was not affecting Sophia and her friends.
But then the virus began to spread to other people in Conackry, Sophia said.
She has two older sisters and she and two older brothers have not seen them for more than two months because of the quarantine.
The family is hoping that Sophia’s story can draw attention to the need for a quarantine system in Conakerry.
The government has already taken steps to stop the spread of the virus in Conaki and neighboring Guinea, where about 2,000 residents are infected with Ebola.