Infected Ebola Patients Flee Clinic Attack: Page 2

//

In Monrovia, residents had opposed the creation of the quarantine centre, set up by health authorities in a part of the capital seen as an epicentre of the Ebola outbreak.

Trace assesses the chances of the illness going terrifyingly global.
DCI

"We told them not to (build) their camp here. They didn't listen to us," said a young resident, who declined to give his name. "This Ebola business, we don't believe it."

Neighboring Sierra Leone has also battled to get patients to comply with quarantine measures as myths spread about the virus.

Software Flagged Ebola Outbreak Before Official Alerts

On Sunday, a 25-year-old patient suspected of having Ebola broke out of his isolation centre "for about an hour" before being escorted back, said health ministry spokesman Yahya Tunis.

Last month thousands tried to storm the main Ebola hospital in the eastern city of Kenema, threatening to burn it down and remove patients.

Local police chief Alfred Karrow-Kamara said the panic was caused by a former nurse who reportedly told people in the nearby fish market that Ebola was a pretence for "carrying out cannibalistic rituals".

Some 1,500 police and soldiers have been deployed in the worst-hit areas of Sierra Leone to prevent raids, but they are powerless in the face of the suspicion and fear of poorly educated traditional communities.

Health workers' pleas that relatives stop bathing the dead -- who are highly contagious -- have also increased suspicions, as many in traditional communities see ritual washing as a way of honouring the departed.

Former Sierra Leone youth and education minister Lansana Nyallah, who lost nine of his family to the virus, tried to address myths about it head on, saying: "To those who still believe that Ebola does not exist, please take heed."

Ebola Epidemic Declared a 'Global Emergency'

Folk cures for the disease have proliferated. In Nigeria two people died and some 20 were hospitalised after they ingested an excessive amount of salt believing it could prevent Ebola.

There have also been reports in Liberia of people drinking chlorine in the hope that it will keep the disease at bay.

The Ebola outbreak, the worst since the virus first appeared in 1976, has claimed 413 lives in Liberia, 380 in Guinea, 348 in Sierra Leone and four in Nigeria, according to the World Health Organization's latest figures released August 13.