News / Africa

Liberia Asks Suspected Ebola Patients to Return to Isolation Center

  • The local market does business as usual despite fears of the Ebola virus, Monrovia, Liberia,  Aug. 19, 2014. 
  • Children surround a man suspected of having contracted the Ebola virus, Monrovia, Liberia, Aug. 19, 2014. 
  • A health worker carries gloves at an Ebola treatment center, Monrovia, Liberia, Aug. 18, 2014. 
  • Liberian police are deployed at an Ebola treatment center to provide security, Monrovia, Liberia, Aug. 18, 2014. 
  • A woman reads a fact sheet for the Ebola virus during an awareness campaign in Lagos, Nigeria, Aug. 15, 2014. 
  • Liberian policemen dressed in riot gear disperse a crowd of people that blocked a main road after the body of someone suspected of dying from the Ebola virus was left in the street by health workers, Monrovia, Liberia, Aug. 14, 2014.
  • A poster displaying a government message against Ebola is displayed prominently at a maternity hospital, in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Aug. 14, 2014.
Ebola Outbreak
VOA News

Officials in Liberia are urging suspected Ebola patients to return to an isolation center that was attacked and looted by armed men on Saturday.

The Liberian government said up to 20 people suspected of having the deadly disease went missing after the attack in the West Point neighborhood of the capital, Monrovia.

On Monday, government spokesman Lewis Brown urged the missing patients not to endanger others.

“We know that you were forced out by looters and vandals," said Brown. "We are encouraging you to please return. And those who looted those things, you have placed yourselves at risk.”

CDC map of east Africa, areas with confirmed and probable cases of EbolaCDC map of east Africa, areas with confirmed and probable cases of Ebola
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CDC map of east Africa, areas with confirmed and probable cases of Ebola
CDC map of east Africa, areas with confirmed and probable cases of Ebola

Looters carried away potentially contaminated mattresses, bedding and gloves from the center. Brown said those people also should come in for observation.

Armed police were on the streets of West Point on Monday, amid a sense of panic in the Liberian capital. One resident called for the government to check anyone going in and out of the area.
 
“Our people are living beyond fear now because those that escaped from the testing center are going to infect other people within the community," said one resident. "The entire West Point is no longer safe, so I think government need to barricade that area, have people going in and going out tested.”

Ebola cases and deaths, as of August 13 update, 2014Ebola cases and deaths, as of August 13 update, 2014
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Ebola cases and deaths, as of August 13 update, 2014
Ebola cases and deaths, as of August 13 update, 2014


The Ebola virus is transmitted through contact with an infected person's blood or bodily fluids.  

The World Health Organization says Ebola has killed more than 1,100 people in four West African countries this year, including 413 in Liberia. The total number of reported cases across the region has topped 2,100.

 

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