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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2014 2:48 pm 
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Photographer Recalls How Ebola Patients Were Carried Off In Liberia
by KRISHNADEV CALAMUR
August 18, 2014 8:32 AM ET
Image
A family (center) leaves an Ebola isolation center after a mob forced open the gates of the facility in the West Point slum on Saturday in Monrovia, Liberia.

John Moore/Getty Images

We told you over the weekend about protesters in the Liberian capital, Monrovia, who on Saturday attacked and looted a quarantine center holding Ebola patients, forcing at least 20 patients to leave the facility.

John Moore, a senior staff photographer for Getty Images, was at the scene and told NPR's Kelly McEvers that the day began with a Liberian health ministry burial team that had come to collect four bodies of people who had died overnight. But the team, he says, was turned back by the families and the local community.

"The crowd was exuberant, having won this battle in their minds," he says. "And then they marched on the isolation ward and pushed through the door and basically pulled out the patients. Members of this mob literally pulled people out of the isolation ward. I saw a man carrying a small girl by one arm up in the air and she was screaming, and the crowd carried them off."

Part of the problem, Moore says, is that there's "a fair number of people ... who believe that the Ebola virus and the epidemic is a hoax, that it's not real after all, and it's a way for the Liberian government to bring in foreign money."

It's unclear what has happened to the patients: The BBC quoted a senior health official as saying they had all been moved to another facility; but a reporter told the BBC that some of the patients were taken away by their families. More than 1,100 people have died from the virus in West Africa since February. The death toll from the virus in Liberia is more than 400.

In other Ebola-related news:

Nigeria's Health Ministry said it had 12 confirmed cases of the Ebola virus, up from 10 last week. Reuters quoted the ministry as saying five of those with the virus have nearly recovered.

The United Arab Emirates is holding six people, including five medics, in isolation pending tests for Ebola. The Associated Press notes: "The medics treated a woman who became ill at Abu Dhabi's airport and later died. The sixth person is the woman's husband. The couple was traveling from Nigeria to India where the woman was scheduled for cancer treatment."

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/201 ... in-liberia

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2014 2:51 pm 
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GROWING UNREST SETS BACK LIBERIA'S EBOLA FIGHT
By JONATHAN PAYE-LAYLEH and KRISTA LARSON
— Aug. 18, 2014 1:59 PM EDT


MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) — Authorities in Liberia urgently searched on Monday for 17 people who fled an Ebola medical center over the weekend when it was attacked by looters who stole blood-stained sheets and mattresses and took them into an enormous slum.

Health officials were combing Monrovia's West Point area that is home to at least 50,000 people to try to stop the virus from spreading further in a country where more than 400 people already have died.

The World Health Organization on Monday urged Liberia and other Ebola-affected countries to screen all passengers leaving international airports, sea ports and major ground crossings.

Those with symptoms of the virus also were urged not to travel. Many airlines have halted services to the capitals of Liberia and neighboring Sierra Leone.

The weekend chaos in Monrovia highlights the growing unease and panic in Liberia amid the mounting Ebola death toll and illustrates the risks of further instability in this deeply impoverished country where mistrust of the government runs high. In addition, health workers are complaining about a lack of protective gear. Treatment centers are viewed by many as a place where people go just to die.

"They are not happy with the way Ebola is being managed and the response that the government is providing," said Koala Oumarou, country director for the aid group Plan Liberia, which is helping the health ministry to raise awareness. "It's where the frustration is coming from."

Liberia's president already has declared a state of emergency, dispatching armed soldiers to enforce quarantines of infected areas. But little was done Saturday to stoop looters from invading the Ebola quarantine center and taking items covered in bodily fluids that now could only further transmit the gruesome virus, witnesses said. Ebola is spread through direct contact with the blood, vomit, feces or sweat or sick people.

"This West Point situation really was our greatest setback since we started this fight, and we are working on making sure that we can correct that situation," Liberian Information Minister Lewis Brown told The Associated Press.

"We have learned a bit of bitter lesson here," he added.

Witnesses say an angry mob attacked the West Point facility, a "holding center" for people who had been exposed to Ebola and were being monitored during an incubation period for signs of the disease. The looters took medical equipment, and mattresses and sheets that had bloodstains, said a senior police official, who insisted on anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to journalists.

"All between the houses you could see people fleeing with items looted from the patients," the official said, adding that he now feared "the whole of West Point will be infected."

Witnesses said the weekend mob was angry about possible Ebola patients being brought into their area. None of those who fled had yet been confirmed to have Ebola, Assistant Health Minister Tolbert Nyenswah said.

The ransacking of the holding center is only the latest sign of anger among Liberians with the government's response to the crisis. Some health workers and burial teams also have faced aggression from communities who fear the corpses will sicken them. Others have held protests when bodies left on the streets have not been collected fast enough.

This year's outbreak marks the first time the gruesome disease has made its way to Liberia, presenting a herculean task for the aid workers trying to halt its spread through awareness campaigns. Despite the billboards and radio jingles, fear and denial have obstructed efforts to get the crisis under control, observers say.

Liberia is now the country with the highest number of Ebola deaths in the affected West African countries — 413 as of last week — and most believe even that figure is vastly under-estimated. Some of the hardest-hit areas of the country are under quarantine, and many victims are dying uncounted in their own homes, aid workers say.

On Monday, police in riot gear provided security at a new treatment center being operated by Doctors Without Borders, which is also known by its French acronym, MSF.

Lindis Hurum, MSF's project coordinator in Liberia, has described the conditions on the ground there as "catastrophic."

"I think it needs a massive intervention from the international community," she said Monday of the mounting crisis. "This is something that goes way beyond the Liberian government and local authorities, and beyond what MSF can do. The scale is so big now and I think it will get even worse than it is today."

___

Larson reported from Dakar, Senegal. Associated Press writer John Heilprin in Geneva contributed to this report.
http://bigstory.ap.org/article/some-who ... spitalized

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2014 3:41 pm 
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Ebola Outbreak Worsens With Missing Patients, US Scare
By SYDNEY LUPKIN (@slupkin) and GILLIAN MOHNEY (@gillianmohney)
Aug 18, 2014, 2:22 PM ET

The Ebola outbreak continues to spiral out of control amid reports of looting at a Liberian health center and the isolation of a traveler from Sierra Leone here in the U.S.

The virus has killed at least 1,145 and sickened 982 more, according to numbers released Friday by the World Health Organization. An updated outbreak toll is expected soon.

Click here for more headlines from the Ebola outbreak.

The outbreak is already the deadliest on record and has shown no signs of slowing. About 42.5 percent of all Ebola deaths since the virus was discovered in 1976 have occurred since March 2014, according to WHO data.

Here are nine things you should know about the outbreak as fears continue to mount in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and beyond.

WHAT’S HAPPENING NOW IN THE EBOLA OUTBREAK
PHOTO: A mob overruns an Ebola isolation center in the West Point slum on August 16, 2014 in Monrovia, Liberia.
John Moore/Getty Images
Mob Loots Liberian Ebola Center
Early Saturday morning, a mob looted an Ebola center in West Point, Liberia, stealing contaminated equipment, bloodstained mattresses and sheets, according to the Associated Press. An estimated 37 patients fled during the raid, 20 of whom have returned. The remaining 17 patients are still missing, the AP reported.

“It's important to understand here that most of the people that went into this holding facility came there voluntarily," Government Information Minister Lewis Brown told the AP. “They were forcibly removed by vandals and looters, not because they wanted to leave, so we are sure that they will return.”

WHO called for the protection of health care workers today in honor of World Humanitarian Day, noting that workers have been threatened and harassed in West Africa as a result of the Ebola outbreak.

“Doctors, nurses and other health workers must be allowed to carry out their life-saving humanitarian work free of threat of violence and insecurity,” Dr. Margaret Chan, WHO Director-General, said in a statement.

WHAT’S HAPPENING NOW IN THE EBOLA OUTBREAK
PHOTO: In this handout from the Center for Disease Control, a colorized transmission electron micrograph of a Ebola virus virion is seen.
Center for Disease Control/Getty Images
More Americans Tested for Ebola
A 30-year-old woman in New Mexico is being tested for Ebola, according to state officials.

The woman had recently traveled to Sierra Leone and arrived at the hospital with sore throat, headache, muscle aches and fever, according to the New Mexico Department of Health, which is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to rule out Ebola.

Potential Ebola patients at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, Johns Hopkins Medicine in Maryland and an undisclosed hospital in Ohio have all tested negative for Ebola over the past several weeks. The CDC had sent a health alert to hospitals across the country urging them to ask patients about their travel history to help identify potential Ebola cases.

As of Aug. 5, the CDC had tested blood samples for six possible Ebola patients in the United States. They were all negative.

WHAT’S HAPPENING NOW IN THE EBOLA OUTBREAK
PHOTO: A health worker takes a passengers temperature with an infrared digital laser thermometer at the Felix Houphouet Boigny international airport in Abidjan August 13, 2014.
Luc Gnago/Reuters
Officials Request Exit Screenings at Airports, Seaports
The World Health Organization on Monday requested exit screenings at international airports, seaports and land crossings in all countries affected by the Ebola outbreak.

“Any person with an illness consistent with [Ebola virus disease] should not be allowed to travel unless the travel is part of an appropriate medical evacuation,” WHO said in a statement. “There should be no international travel of Ebola contacts or cases, unless the travel is part of an appropriate medical evacuation.”

Ebola symptoms include fever, weakness, muscle pain and sore throat before they progress to vomiting, diarrhea and rash. Some people may also experience bleeding.

The WHO Ebola Emergency Committee advised against international travel or trade restrictions at this time.

A 35-year-old Nigerian woman, who may have had Ebola, died shortly after landing in Abu Dhabi International Airport, according to the Associated Press. The United Arab Emirates airline reportedly disinfected the plane, and the woman’s husband and five medics who worked to revive her have been quarantined until Ebola is ruled out.

WHAT’S HAPPENING NOW IN THE EBOLA OUTBREAK
PHOTO: Sierra Leonese government burial team members are pictured wearing protective clothing while disinfecting a coffin at the Medecins Sans Frontieres facility in Kailahun, Sierra Leone on Aug. 14, 2014.
Carl de Souza/AFP/Getty Images
Officials Say Outbreak Is ‘Vastly’ Underestimated
The Ebola outbreak is already the deadliest on record, and WHO officials say the impact may be far worse than reported.

The number of known infections – currently 2,127 – “vastly underestimate the magnitude of the outbreak,” according to staff at outbreak sites.

Ebola Toll May 'Vastly Underestimate' Crisis

The agency said it's scaling up its response in "recognition of the extraordinary measures needed, on a massive scale, to contain the outbreak in settings characterized by extreme poverty, dysfunctional health systems, a severe shortage of doctors, and rampant fear."

WHAT’S HAPPENING NOW IN THE EBOLA OUTBREAK
PHOTO: Stranded people stand behind a rope across the road that separates Guinea and Sierra Leone, and works as a makeshift border control checkpoint at Gbalamuya-Pamelap, Guinea, on Aug. 12, 2014.
Youssouf Bah/AP Photo
Governments Are Reviving the ‘Cordon Sanitaire’
Officials from Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia have implemented a “cordon sanitaire” or sanitary barrier – a cross-border isolation zone designed to contain people with the highest infection risk.

The tactic, used to prevent the spread of plague in medieval times, literally blocks off an area thought to contain 70 percent of the epidemic. But some experts say there’s little proof that isolation zones can prevent the spread of disease.

Ebola-Stricken Countries Turning to Ancient Practice to Curb Outbreak

“It may not be sufficiently structured so it can prevent people from leaving,” said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee.

WHAT’S HAPPENING NOW IN THE EBOLA OUTBREAK
PHOTO: Sulaiman Kemokai, an Ebola virus survivor, is pictured near his house in Sierra Leone on Aug. 11, 2014.
Michael Duff/AP Photo
Fearful Communities Are Shunning Survivors
An estimated 47 percent of people infected in the outbreak have survived the virus, according to WHO data. But they face fear and shame from their communities.

Survivor Sulaiman Kemokai, from Sierra Leone, said people in his community are afraid to touch him even though he’s been declared virus-free, the Associated Press reported.

Ebola Survivor Shunned by Boyfriend, School

The Ebola virus can only be spread through contact with bodily secretions such as blood, urine or sweat. But misinformation is rampant in areas hardest hit by the virus, health officials said.

WHAT’S HAPPENING NOW IN THE EBOLA OUTBREAK
PHOTO: Dr. Kent Brantly is shown in this 2013 photo provided by JPS Health Network. | Nancy Writebol is shown in this undated photo.
AP Photo | simusa.org
Infected Americans Are Recovering
Two American health workers are recovering from Ebola after being evacuated to the U.S. from Liberia.

Dr. Kent Brantly, 33, and Nancy Writebol, 59, continue to receive treatment in a special isolation ward at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. Both were infected while treating patients in an Ebola ward outside Monrovia, Liberia.

American Doctor With Ebola Is 'Recovering in Every Way'

In statement released Friday, Brantly said he has “a few hurdles to clear” before being released.

“I thank God for the healthcare team here who is giving me compassionate, world-class care,” he said. “I am more grateful every day to the Lord for sparing my life and continuing to heal my body.”

Writebol's husband, David, said his wife was “making good progress." He visited her in the Emory isolation ward, sharing a tender moment through the glass.

“We both placed our hands on opposite sides of the glass, moved with tears to look at each other again,” David Writebol said in a statement. “She was standing with her radiant smile, happy beyond words.”

Ebola Patient Reunites with Husband Through Isolation Glass at Emory

WHAT’S HAPPENING NOW IN THE EBOLA OUTBREAK
PHOTO: Dr. Frank Thieme, Manager of Deveopment at Icon Genetics, picks out samples of the nicotiana benthamiana plant.
Sean Gallup/Getty Images
Drug Companies Are Rushing to Provide Treatments
The growing outbreak has left pharmaceutical companies scrambling to test drugs that could treat and prevent the infection.

There is currently no drug approved to fight Ebola, but WHO has allowed medical professionals to use experimental or untested medications in a last ditch effort to save lives.

What's Next for Experimental Ebola Drug?

One drug, an experimental serum known as ZMapp, has been used to treat three patients: American health workers Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol, and a Spanish priest. Brantly and Writebol survived but the Spanish priest did not.

Another drug, an Ebola vaccine developed by the U.S. National Institute for Health, is scheduled to be tested on humans for the first time in September. Another vaccine out of Canada is also expected to be tested, the Associated Press reported.

WHAT’S HAPPENING NOW IN THE EBOLA OUTBREAK
PHOTO: Nigerian passengers arrive at the International Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport in Abuja, Nigeria on Aug. 11, 2014.
Macjohn Akande/Getty Images
FDA Warns Against Fake Ebola Treatments
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning people to avoid fake Ebola treatments and vaccines being sold online. The agency said products claiming to protect people from the infection began popping up online after the outbreak began in March.

“There are currently no FDA-approved vaccines or drugs to prevent or treat Ebola,” the agency said in a statement. “Although there are experimental Ebola vaccines and treatments under development, these investigational products are in the early stages of product development, have not yet been fully tested for safety or effectiveness, and the supply is very limited."

"There are no approved vaccines, drugs, or investigational products specifically for Ebola available for purchase on the Internet," the FDA added. "By law, dietary supplements cannot claim to prevent or cure disease.”

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/ebola-outb ... d=25024218

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2014 6:02 pm 
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18 August 2014 Last updated at 16:25 ET
Ebola crisis: Liberia confirms West Point patients missing

Following earlier denials, Liberia has admitted that 17 suspected Ebola patients are "missing" after a health centre in the capital was looted.

The government had sought to reassure people, saying all the patients had been moved to another health facility.

But Information Minister Lewis Brown told the BBC that 17 inmates had gone "back into their communities".

The World Health Organization (WHO) has called for exit screenings on all travellers from affected countries.

It wants checks at airports, sea ports and major land crossings.

Several airlines have already stopped flying to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone - the countries worst affected by the world's most deadly outbreak of Ebola, which has no known cure.

Cameroon has closed its land, sea and air borders with Nigeria, which also has several cases of Ebola, reports said.

The virus has killed 1,145 people this year, the World Health Organization says.

Security has been stepped up at health centres treating Ebola patients in Liberia

Meanwhile, the UN's chief co-ordinator in Sierra Leone, David McLachlan-Karr, told the BBC that Ebola had spread to 12 out of 13 of the country's districts.

"While Sierra Leone was the last affected of the three Mano River countries to have confirmed [cases] of Ebola, now it's the country with the most cases," he said.

There have been at least 810 cases of Ebola reported in Sierra Leone, including 348 deaths, according to WHO figures.

'Greatest setback'
In Liberia, Assistant Health Minister Tolbert Nyenswah said protesters in the West Point district attacked a quarantine centre on Saturday because they were unhappy that patients were being taken there from other parts of the capital, Monrovia.

Other reports suggested the protesters had believed Ebola was a hoax and wanted to force the centre to close.

Mr Nyenswah had said that all the suspected patients had been transferred to an Ebola treatment centre in the John F Kennedy Memorial Medical Center in Monrovia.

But on Monday, the information minister said 17 of the 37 patients were unaccounted for.

The current outbreak is the deadliest since Ebola was discovered in 1976
He said the authorities were now trying to track them down but said he was confident they would return.

"Most of the people that went into this holding facility came there voluntarily," he told the BBC.

"So our impression is that they still want to be [there], but they were forcibly removed by vandals and looters, not because they wanted to leave; so we are sure that they will return."

He said the attack on the quarantine centre was Liberia's "greatest setback" since the Ebola outbreak began.

Symptoms include high fever, bleeding and central nervous system damage
Fatality rate can reach 90% - but current outbreak has about 55%
Incubation period is two to 21 days
There is no vaccine or cure
Supportive care such as rehydrating patients who have diarrhoea and vomiting can help recovery
Fruit bats, a delicacy for some West Africans, are considered to be virus' natural host
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Blood-stained mattresses, bedding and medical equipment were taken from the centre, a senior police officer told BBC News, on condition of anonymity.

"This is one of the stupidest things I have ever seen in my life," he said. "All between the houses you could see people fleeing with items looted from the patients."

The looting spree, he added, could spread the virus to the whole of the West Point area.

Health workers flee
Lindis Hurum, from medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), says there is an urgent need for a massive public awareness campaign in Liberia.

"Some people don't believe that it exists. Definitely, as the situation is getting worse and more people are getting sick, more people also start to believe it," she told the BBC.

"But they don't necessarily understand or know how they should prevent it."

A Liberian burial team wearing protective clothing retrieves the body of a 60-year-old Ebola victim from his home on August 17, 2014 near Monrovia, Liberia.
Health workers wear protective clothing when handling the bodies of Ebola victims
MSF says the Ebola outbreak has had a terrible impact on Liberia's entire healthcare system, which it says is more or less falling apart.

Many health facilities have closed, with patients as well as medical staff, too scared to turn up for fear of catching the disease.

The Ebola epidemic began in Guinea in February and has since spread to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.

One Nigerian doctor has survived the disease and was sent home on Saturday night, said Health Minister Onyebuchi Chukwu in a statement.

Mr Chukwu said five other people infected with Ebola had almost fully recovered.

The death toll of 1,145 was announced on Friday after the WHO said 76 new deaths had been reported in the two days to 13 August. There have been 2,127 cases reported in total.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-28841040

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2014 6:08 pm 
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Why the escape of numerous Ebola patients in Liberia’s worst slum is so terrifying

By Terrence McCoy August 18 at 4:15 AM

The chants in the Liberian capital of Monrovia, according to reports, began near dusk. People gathered near the entrance of an Ebola isolation unit, where dozens of patients, many of whom were suspected if not confirmed to be infected, were getting treatment. Pictures showed some in the crowd had masked their faces with T-shirts or shawls. Others, including a woman in a red dress named Batu Flowers, tried to convince the mob that Ebola was real, they weren’t being lied to, that news of the outbreak wasn’t a hoax. But the crowd wouldn’t be dissuaded.

It pushed against the gates of the Liberian primary school, which had been converted into a treatment center in the middle of West Point, which some call the most squalid community in Liberia if not West Africa. Thanks to poor sanitation and open sewers, the community of tens of thousands crowded onto a peninsula jutting into the Atlantic Ocean has long been prone to debilitating sicknesses from typhoid to malaria to lethal diarrhea. Now it has one more to contend with — a virus spread through feces, blood and vomit.

“No Ebola in West Point!” the crowd chanted, according to Getty Images photographer John Moore. “No Ebola in West Point!”

Three patients had already escaped, reports Buzzfeed’s Jina Moore. “We begged them” to stay, one nurse worker told the reporter. We “told them people are coming tomorrow to help you. But there was no way we could fight them.”

They also couldn’t fight the mob. Its members were angry their community had been used to isolate Ebola patients. They were upset they couldn’t see the patients inside. They were suspicious of the whole operation.

Soon, between 17 and 29 Ebola patients had run away — or were physically removed by their families — and the looting began. They took off with items — goggles, masks, blood-stained mattresses and blood-stained sheets — that were likely infected with Ebola, a lethal disease that the World Health Organization says has killed 1,145 people in West Africa, 413 of whom were Liberian. Following the patients’ escape and Saturday’s looting, officials and health workers fear even more will be infected as patients return to their family’s homes and looters sleep on fetid mattresses.

“They said, ‘The president says you have Ebola, but you don’t have Ebola; you have malaria. Get up and go out!’” Jemimah Kargbo, who works at the clinic next door, told Buzzfeed. “Everybody left with their own thing. What are they carrying to their homes? They are carrying their deaths…. We can’t let them turn around and come back and infect us. I have four sons. I am a single mother. I’m not going to let that happen to my children. I’m not going to let anybody infect me, to die of the disease and leave my children.”


It’s difficult to imagine such an incident occurring in a more vulnerable place. The slum of West Point, which health officials have considered quarantining, is populated by some of the poorest people in West Africa, most of whom have few resources or training to adequately treat or quarantine sick residents. Dominated by rusted shanties of corrugated iron, crime and drug abuse, analysts contend the overcrowded and densely populated peninsula could become another hot zone in the worst Ebola outbreak in history.

“It’s an informal community, a ‘slum,’ with no running water or toilets,” wrote Moore. “People can live seven or more to a single dwelling, and the density is dangerous: A positive Ebola patient disappearing into the maze of metal shacks can be a public health horror story.”


Residents agreed. “As I speak, the police station is deserted,” one resident named Moses Teah claimed in an interview with FrontPageAfrica. “There is no security now in West Point. I said to myself, ‘What a place.’ West Point people really shocked me yesterday.”

West Point’s population surged during Liberia’s civil war between 1989 and 2003, which killed a quarter-million people and displaced 1.3 million. Thousands fled fighting in the countryside and pushed into West Point, populating the community with refugees and child soldiers who grew into adulthood in the slum. It became one of the least hospitable places in the country.

“West point is the worst slum in Liberia,” commented Vice Media journalist Shane Smith in a documentary he did on Liberia. “Which makes it one of the worst slums in Africa, which makes it one of the worst slums in the world.”

Indeed, despite its location on what should be profitable oceanfront property, the residents have always been poor, according to a 1991 paper published in Environment and Urbanization. “West Point is densely populated, characterized by a constant through-flow of residents, who come from other parts of Liberia and neighboring West African cities.” The makeshift dwellings became permanent — and even now, almost all of them are without indoor plumbing or running water.

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, which reported on the slum in 2009, there were only four public toilets servicing 70,000 residents. Using the toilet cost 3 cents, and bathroom operators estimated they got about 500 patrons per day. “The facilities can be smelled 50 meters away, with the floor of each squalid cubicle 15 cm deep in soiled newspaper that residents use to wipe their posteriors,” the service reported. “Staff use gloved hands to scoop the used paper into a wheelbarrow, which they lug to the nearby river or beach to dump its contents into the water.”

Other residents prefer not to deal with all that, and instead use the beaches as public bathrooms. “Before I can take my first step into the sand [I see] the small black and brown piles underfoot,” a Providence Journal missive says. “A few yards ahead, a scattering of about a half a dozen or so small children squat, eyes towards the sea.”

Now, if Ebola ravages the slum as some fear, it is this act of public defecation that may tragically fuel its rise.

Terrence McCoy is a foreign affairs writer at the Washington Post. He served in the U.S. Peace Corps in Cambodia and studied international politics at Columbia University. Follow him on Twitter here.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morn ... ?tid=hp_mm

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2014 6:38 pm 
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The New Dawn (Monrovia)
18 AUGUST 2014
Liberia: West Pointers Loot Ebola Unit

By Winston W. Parley
A center built to quarantine Ebola patients in West Point, a densely populated slum community in Monrovia was attacked and looted Saturday evening by protesters.

Assistant Health Minister for Preventive Services, Tolbert Nyensuah told journalists here on Sunday that the protesters, mainly angry residents of the slum community burglarized and looted the Ebola holding unit, while securities played cool to avoid casualties.

A minimum of about 22 persons was being held at the West Point holding unit that is meant to contain persons suspected to have Ebola symptoms, but are yet to be confirmed of the disease, and about 20 were said to have fled during the burglary.

However, Nyensuah said the West Point Township Commissioner who had earlier identified and reported the Ebola suspects to the Ministry would help in tracing them. Mr. Nyensuah said the angry rioters instilled fears and looted the unit when they saw that health team had carried food for the Ebola suspects.

He said just as health workers are not immune to the Ebola disease, police too are not immune of being infected, and as such, they had to avoid any direct contact with the rioters or the use of maximum force for fear of casualties. In a related development, Mr. Nyensuah says Liberia is now making progress in its response to the Ebola crisis, with the opening of 120 bed capacity to treat Ebola patients at the "ELWA-3"


He says confirmed Ebola cases will be handled at the ELWA-3 to de-crowd the ELWA-2, where he says Ebola and non-Ebola related cases will be thoroughly screened. Currently, he says, about 77 patients are being held at the ELWA- 2, while the ELWA with 120 capacities could be expanded to 300 beds in the next one or two weeks.

He said "the ELWA-3 is being fully supported by MSF and the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare," adding that MSF will provide staff and medical supplies. Further, Mr. Nyensuah said on Sunday that the government referral Hospital John F. Kennedy Hospital Ebola Unit has been opened, and as at Saturday, five patients had been admitted there.

He boasted that the JFK Ebola Center with 40 bed capacity is "fully staff," and at the JFK, he says suspected and probable cases will be sorted out before integrating those Ebola negative into the regular JFK services that are being provided right now.

At the JFK alone, he says there is a total of 40 staff that includes two Ugandan doctors and one Liberian doctor that will provide supervision; seven nurses, support staffs, sprayers, and security. He recalled that the JDJ [James Davis] and Redemption Hospitals are reopened and are providing services. Meanwhile, Minister Nyensuah said more new cases are emerging here.

The World Health Organization or WHO representative to Liberia said Ebola will continue here as long as Liberians are not taking the messages and continue to touch dead bodies, infected persons, among others. Health experts say that the solution to ending the Ebola outbreak is to stop it spreading in Liberia, where ignorance about the virus is high and many people are reluctant to cooperate with medical staff.
http://allafrica.com/stories/201408182689.html

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2014 6:47 pm 
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Interview tonight at 11 PM EDT.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2014 6:50 pm 
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niman wrote:
Interview tonight at 11 PM EDT.

Dr. Henry L. Niman, PhD
Ebola Out Of Control

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2014 7:06 pm 
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Liberia's Ebola fight set back by growing unrest
There are concerns raid could fuel the spread of Ebola in a slum where at least 50,000 people live
The Associated Press Posted: Aug 18, 2014 9:30 AM ET Last Updated: Aug 18, 2014 6:01 PM ET

Ebola clinic looted by Liberian slum residents
The weekend chaos highlights the growing unease and panic in Liberia amid the mounting Ebola death toll and illustrates the risks of further instability in this deeply impoverished country where mistrust of the government runs high. In addition, health workers are complaining about a lack of protective gear. Treatment centres are viewed by many as a place where people go just to die.

"They are not happy with the way Ebola is being managed and the response that the government is providing," said Koala Oumarou, country director for the aid group Plan Liberia, which is helping the health ministry to raise awareness. "It's where the frustration is coming from."

Liberia's president already has declared a state of emergency, dispatching armed soldiers to enforce quarantines of infected areas. But little was done to stoop looters Saturday from invading the Ebola quarantine centre and taking items covered in bodily fluids that now could only further transmit the gruesome virus, witnesses said. Ebola is spread through direct contact with the blood, vomit, feces or sweat or sick people.

"This West Point situation really was our greatest setback since we started this fight, and we are working on making sure that we can correct that situation," Liberian Information Minister Lewis Brown told The Associated Press.

Liberia Battles Spreading Ebola Epidemic
A Liberian burial team carefully puts on protective clothing before retrieving the body of an Ebola victim from his home on Sunday near Monrovia, Liberia. Up to 30 suspected Ebola patients fled during a raid, but at least some have now been brought to another hospital. (John Moore/Getty)

"We have learned a bit of bitter lesson here," he added.

Witnesses say an angry mob attacked the West Point facility, which was described as a "holding centre" for people who had been exposed to Ebola and were being monitored during an incubation period for signs of the disease. The looters took medical equipment, and mattresses and sheets that had bloodstains, said a senior police official, who insisted on anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to journalists.

"All between the houses you could see people fleeing with items looted from the patients," the official said, adding that he now feared "the whole of West Point will be infected."

Witnesses said the weekend crowd was angry about possible Ebola patients being brought into their area. None of those who fled had yet been confirmed to have Ebola, Assistant Health Minister Tolbert Nyenswah said.

The ransacking of the holding centre is only the latest sign of anger among Liberians with the government's response to the crisis. Some health workers and burial teams also have faced aggression from communities who fear the corpses will sicken them. Others have held protests when bodies have not been collected from the streets fast enough.

Doctors Without Borders describes 'catastrophic' conditions

On Monday, police in riot gear provided security at a new treatment center being operated by Doctors Without Borders, which is also known by its French acronym, MSF.

Lindis Hurum, MSF's project coordinator in Liberia, has described the conditions on the ground there as "catastrophic."

"I think it needs a massive intervention from the international community," she said Monday of the mounting crisis. "This is something that goes way beyond the Liberian government and local authorities, and beyond what MSF can do. The scale is so big now and I think it will get even worse than it is today."

Authorities have struggled to contain the spread of an Ebola outbreak in West Africa. So far, it has killed 1,145 of the more than 2,000 people sickened in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.

Meanwhile, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates said Monday it has disinfected one of its planes after health authorities there announced that a Nigerian woman who died after flying in to the capital, Abu Dhabi, may have been infected with the Ebola virus.

The health authority in Abu Dhabi said in a statement carried by state news agency WAM that the 35-year-old woman was travelling from Nigeria to India for treatment of advanced metastatic cancer.

Her health deteriorated while in transit at Abu Dhabi International Airport. As medics were trying to resuscitate her, they found signs that suggested a possible Ebola virus infection. The health authority noted, however, that her preexisting medical condition also could have explained her death.

Passenger screening in Ebola-affected countries

Medical staff treating the woman followed safety and precautionary measures in line with World Health Organization guidelines, the health authority statement added.

The UN health agency on Monday urged Ebola-affected countries to start screening all passengers leaving international airports, sea ports and major ground crossings.

The risk of the Ebola virus being transmitted during air travel is low because unlike infections such as influenza or tuberculosis, it is not spread by breathing air and airborne particles from an infected person, the World Health Organization said. Nonetheless, all travellers are urged to routinely wash their hands and anyone with an illness consistent with the virus should not be allowed to travel unless it is part of an appropriate medical evacuation.

Etihad Airways, the UAE's national carrier, said the plane was disinfected in line with guidelines laid out by the airline industry's main trade group.

Elsewhere, the husband of an American missionary stricken with Ebola has finished a health monitoring period without showing signs of the disease and was able to visit his wife at the Atlanta hospital where she is being treated, a missionary group said on Monday.

David Writebol was temporarily quarantined in North Carolina as a precaution after returning last week from Liberia, where he and his wife, Nancy, served as missionaries for SIM USA before she was infected with the deadly virus.

There is no licensed treatment for the Ebola virus. The only way to contain the disease is to isolate the sick and closely watch those they have come into contact with for signs of infection.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/liberia-s ... -1.2739434

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2014 7:12 pm 
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MOSCOW, August 18 (RIA Novosti) – The Ebola crisis in Liberia has intensified as up 29 infected with the deadly virus escaped the quarantine zone on Saturday and melted into the streets of overpopulated West Point, a township of Monrovia, media outlets report.
"It's an informal community, a 'slum,' with no running water or toilets. People can live seven or more to a single dwelling, and the density is dangerous: A positive Ebola patient disappearing into the maze of metal shacks can be a public health horror story," BuzzFeed writes.
On August, 16, an armed mob attacked the clinic in West Point, chanting "No Ebola!" and looted the place. "They said, 'The president says you have Ebola, but you don’t have Ebola, you have malaria. Get up and go out!'" said Jemimah Kargbo, a health care worker, as cited by BuzzFeed.
It should be noted, the mob and an angry crowd of the town-dwellers stole not only medical equipment, but also many items allegedly infected with Ebola virus, particularly mattresses and bedding of terminally ill patients. Media outlets also reported of 17 or 29 of Ebola patients vanished.
"What are they carrying to their homes? They are carrying their deaths," stressed Jemimah Kargbo. "All between the houses you could see people fleeing with items looted from the patients," an unnamed police official said, as quoted by the Associated Press, and bemoaned the fact that after the mob attack "the whole of West Point will be infected."
The residents of West Point were discontent with the creation of the clinic in their area, which is considered an epicenter of the deadly disease in Monrovia.
"We told them not to (build) their camp here. They didn't listen to us. We don't believe in this Ebola outbreak," claimed an unnamed young resident according to The Telegraph.
Health experts explain that as the ignorance about the virus is high, Monrovia's residents refuse to go to the clinic. Some of them consider the Ebola outbreak 'witchcraft.'
Since February 413 have died from the incurable disease in Liberia, while 380 died in Guinea, 348 in Sierra Leone and four in Nigeria, as reported by the UN World Health Organization on August, 13. The death toll is rising rapidly and yet the situation has not been brought under control.
"The main thing I come back to is that it is deteriorating faster, moving faster than we can respond to. To put it in context with my time with MSF, I really feel that it is like wartime, in terms of fear and nobody knowing what is going on," Dr Joanne Liu, the MSF international president emphasized, as cited by Sky News.
Experts point out that the mob strike in West Point has exacerbated the situation tremendously and call the international community to help control the deadly virus outbreak.

http://en.ria.ru/analysis/20140818/1921 ... -West.html

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