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Fear and denial of the Ebola virus in Liberia

In the news today there is more on the outbreak of the Ebola virus in Liberia. The Ebola virus is spreading. What is causing it and why?

It is pretty scary if you ask me. It seems like something out of one of those futuristic  make believe movies like “Outbreak”.  This virus that makes you so sick, has no cure, and spreads quickly.

Here is an update of what is happening in Monrovia, Liberia.

 

MONROVIA, Liberia — This morning Makasha Kroma shivered with fever. Her head still hurt; that hadn’t gone away. And she was vomiting a lot.

That’s why she’d ended up here, at a holding center where people suspected to have Ebola wait, in a dark classroom, for the results of their tests. These things — headache, fever, vomiting — are the early signs.
Ebola is transmitted through bodily fluids. It has no treatment, besides hydration, no cure, no proven vaccine. Since February, it’s ravaged West Africa, infecting more than 2,000 people in four countries and killing more than 1,100.

Kroma came to the West Point holding center with her sister, her three children, a cousin named Bindu, and two other family members. They are all women, or girls — most caregivers in Liberia are — and they washed Kroma’s clothes, fed her rice, wiped down her body, and cleaned up her vomit with a rag and some chlorine.

Those are the kinds of chores that give you Ebola. And the girls had no gloves. All the gloves the Ministry of Health brought this place when it opened yesterday, all 150 of them, were gone by the middle of the night.

That’s when three people escaped. Because Sam Tarplah and his staff didn’t have any gloves, they couldn’t restrain the patients who wanted to flee. They could only plead.

“We begged them, told them people are coming tomorrow to help you,” Tarplah said. “But there was no way we could fight them.”

Two escaped by climbing the back wall, according to health care workers in a clinic next door. Another, a woman with five children, simply took off, Tarplah said.

Tarplah is a registered nurse who’s worked in health care in Liberia since 1989; he opened this holding center for the Ministry of Health on Thursday, and had eight patients. On Friday, before the escape, he had 29.

West Point is becoming a hot spot in a hot spot in the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. 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. Read the rest of the story on Buzzfeed.com

Source: Buzzfeed

Photo Credit: Wikepedia.org

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