World / Science & Health

Some who fled Liberia Ebola clinic re-hospitalized


Some of the people who fled an Ebola quarantine center in a Liberian slum when it was looted over the weekend were again under observation at a hospital Monday, a health official said.

Late Saturday, residents of Monrovia’s West Point slum attacked a quarantine center, where people were being monitored for possible infection with Ebola. The residents were angry that patients were brought to the holding center from other parts of Monrovia.

During the raid, up to 30 suspected Ebola patients fled, but at least some have now been brought to another hospital, Assistant Health Minister Tolbert Nyenswah said late Sunday. It was not clear how many of those who fled had been tracked down or how authorities were identifying them.

None of those who fled had been confirmed with Ebola and the process of screening them is continuing, Nyenswah said.

There are concerns that the raid could fuel the spread of Ebola in a slum where at least 50,000 people live. Police said the looters stole bloody sheets and mattresses, which could carry the infection.

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.

Ebola is spread through direct contact with bodily fluids and there is no licensed treatment. 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.