In the tradition of Farm Aid and We Are the World, a group of West African rappers have come together to warn people of the dangers of the deadly hemorrhagic fever known as Ebola, which has killed 188 people in the region over the past two months. The song, "Ebola in Town," was recorded by a trio of African artists: D-12 (not the American group), Shadow, and Kuzzy of 2 Kings.
The song's lyrics are aimed at advising West African residents about proper procedure for avoiding the virus and dealing with the afflicted. "Don't touch your friend," they sing. "Don't touch him. No eating something, it's dangerous. Ebola, Ebola in town." Partygoers in the capitals of Liberia and Guinea have even come up with a dance for the song in which no bodily contact occurs between revelers.
While Ebola can only be transferred by coming into direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected individual, its fatality rate is roughly 90 percent. With literacy in the region running below 40 percent, it makes sense to communicate public safety messages through a universal medium like song.