Raid sparks new Ebola fears as patients flee, bloody sheets stolen

Hanah Siafa lies with her daughter Josephine, 10, while hoping to enter the new Doctors Without Borders (MSF), Ebola treatment center on August 17, 2014 in Monrovia, Liberia.

 

Liberian officials fear Ebola could soon spread through the capital’s largest slum after residents raided a quarantine centre for suspected patients and took items including bloody sheets and mattresses.

The violence in the West Point slum occurred late Saturday and was led by residents angry that patients were brought to the holding centre from other parts of Monrovia, Tolbert Nyenswah, assistant health minister, said Sunday.

Up to 30 patients were staying at the centre and many of them fled at the time of the raid, said Nyenswah. Once they are located they will be transferred to the Ebola centre at Monrovia’s largest hospital, he said.

West Point residents went on a “looting spree,” stealing items from the clinic that were likely infected, said a senior police official, who insisted on anonymity because he was not authorized to brief the press. The residents took medical equipment and mattresses and sheets that had bloodstains, he said. Ebola is spread through bodily fluids including blood, vomit, feces and sweat.

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