Ebola: Liberia deaths ‘far higher than reported’ as officials downplay epidemic

Ebola In West Africa - Photo by European Commission

The true death toll from the Ebola epidemic is being masked by chaotic data collection and people’s reluctance to admit that their loved ones had the virus, according to one of west Africa’s most celebrated film-makers.

Sorious Samura, who has just returned from making a documentary on the crisis in Liberia, said it is very clear on the ground that the true number of dead is far higher than the official figures being reported by the World Health Organisation.

Liberia accounts for more than half of all the official Ebola deaths, with a total of 2,458. Overall, the number of dead across Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea has exceeded 4,500.

Samura, a television journalist originally from Sierra Leone, said the Liberian authorities appeared to be deliberately downplaying the true number of cases, for fear of increasing alarm in the west African country.

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Ship from Liberia with Sick Passengers Docks in Louisiana…But Don’t Worry

Ship From Liberia

When a ship from an Ebola-plagued nation docks on American shores with a crew full of sick passengers, by all means, we should bring them into the country and treat them.

But don’t worry – the CDC figured it was probably fine.

According to a release from the CDC, the ship was reported to have traveled to a port in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and others in Africa. Officials immediately downplayed the likelihood that the sickness was related to an outbreak of Ebola in that part of the world.

“There is no evidence to suggest that the crew members traveled to, or had any contact with anyone from the remote island region of DRC where Ebola cases are occurring. Given this, the chance that the crew member could have Ebola is thought to be exceedingly low,” the CDC stated. (source)


Gee, that sounds like it’s no big deal. And, health professionals used safety precautions, and the only people there were from the CDC. Oh – and the hospital. And there were some guys from the Coast Guard. Also some “various government epidemiologists. They’ve got this handled.

“Our doctors and staff are ready and we have instituted full safety precautions in the unlikely event that this turns out to be something of concern,” said WJMC spokeswoman Taslin Alfonzo. “Everyone is using an abundance of caution until the patients can actually be assessed and appropriately diagnosed.”

Embedded in the hospital’s emergency room is the Region 1 disaster coordinator from the state, Alfonzo said.

Officials in New Orleans confirmed that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Coast Guard and various government epidemiologists were at the scene in Belle Chasse, where the vessel, identified as the Marine Phoenix, anchored near the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base. (source)

Besides, it turned out to be malaria, anyway. People just get so worried over nothing.

The crew member was taken to West Jefferson Medical Center for treatment. At least three more crew members, plus the river pilot who boarded the ship, were also expected to arrive at the hospital Wednesday night.

The crew member with malaria was listed in critical condition, Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser said before the diagnosis was made.

Late Wednesday, officials told WDSU that another member of the crew — who had left the ship to seek treatment in the Bahamas — had died. That crew member was also diagnosed with malaria. (source)

Anyway, even if it had been Ebola, there’s nothing to get worked up over. The WDSU news guy said so.

“Even if a person on the ship was exposed to Ebola, once they are screened by medical personnel in New Orleans, they would not be able to go anywhere,” said WDSU Medical Editor Dr. Corey Hebert. “Even if they did get out, it has to be spread by direct bodily fluids.” (source)

So stop worrying. Our government has an iron grasp on the situation.  You just don’t understand the finer points of all this stuff. They may not be closing our borders. They may be knowingly bringing in people who could be infected. But they have your best interests at heart, and they’ll take care of you.

If you feel otherwise, you’re just one of those crazy preppers or anti-government conspiracy people. You probably even read articles about how to prepare for a pandemic.

Because, it’s just Ebola. Don’t worry.

Daisy Luther is a freelance writer and editor.  Her website, The Organic Prepper, offers information on healthy prepping, including premium nutritional choices, general wellness and non-tech solutions. You can follow Daisy on Facebook and Twitter, and you can email her at daisy@theorganicprepper.ca

(Originally posted at The Organic Prepper)

The Ebola Virus Is Spreading ‘Like Wildfire’ In Liberia

Ebola - CDC

With warnings from officials that the Ebola virus is “spreading like wildfire” in Liberia, Sarah Crowe, who works for the UN children’s agency (Unicef), describes her week on the Ebola front line:

Flights into disaster zones are usually full of aid workers and journalists. Not this time.

The plane was one of the first in after some 10 airlines stopped flying to Liberia because of Ebola, and still it was empty.

When I was last in Liberia in 2006, it was to work on reintegration of child soldiers in a time of peace. Now the country is fighting a “biological war” from an unseen enemy without foot soldiers.

As we enter the airport, an unnerving sight – a team of health workers kitted out with masks and gloves asks us to wash our hands with a chlorine solution and takes our temperatures.

(Read the rest of the story here…)

Ebola Spreading ‘Exponentially’ as Patients Seek Beds in Liberia

Ebola Spooky - Public Domain

WHO and other groups have been warning that the situation in Liberia and Sierra Leone and Guinea is dire. It’s especially bad in Liberia, WHO said Monday.

“Transmission of the Ebola virus in Liberia is already intense and the number of new cases is increasing exponentially,” WHO said in a statement.

“In Monrovia, taxis filled with entire families, of whom some members are thought to be infected with the Ebola virus, crisscross the city, searching for a treatment bed. There are none. As WHO staff in Liberia confirm, no free beds for Ebola treatment exist anywhere in the country.”

For example, in Montserrado county, 1,000 beds are urgently needed but only 240 beds are available. WHO has said more than 3,600 people have been infected with Ebola in this West African epidemic, and 2,000 have died, but the organization predicts as many as 20,000 will be sickened before it’s over. Half of those infected have been dying.

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Ebola spread exponential in Liberia, thousands of cases expected in September

Liberia - Photo by Martin23230

The Ebola virus is spreading exponentially in Liberia, where many thousands of new cases expected over the coming three weeks, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Monday.

In a statement, the WHO said that motorbike-taxis and regular taxis are “a hot source of potential virus transmission” in Liberia where conventional Ebola control interventions “are not having an adequate impact”.

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Chaotic scene as an infected Ebola patient wanders into a Monrovia market to look for food

Liberia - Photo by Martin23230

Video has emerged of Liberian ebola clinic workers dressed in contamination suits chasing an escaped patient through the streets after he left a treatment centre to visit a market.

There were chaotic scenes as crowds followed infected man, who was wearing a wristband to show he had tested positive for the disease, and some stallholders argued with him as he approached.

The patient escaped from Monrovia’s Elwa hospital, which last month was so crowded with cases of the deadly disease that it had to turn people away.

One woman at the scene said: “The patients are hungry, they are starving. No food, no water.

“The government needs to do more. Let Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf [the President of Liberia] do more.”

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Dogs feed on dead bodies of Ebola victims in Liberia

Death - Public Domain

The residents of the Mount Barclay Community within the Johnsonville Township, outside of Monrovia woke up on last Friday morning in total dismay when the remains of dead Ebola victims were reportedly seen, eaten by dogs, something reminiscent of the brutal civil war here, when dogs ate dead bodies on the streets.

The Liberian Government, through the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, buried some unaccounted-for corpses, suspected to have died from the Ebola Virus in that township few weeks ago.

The burial was done in a hurry at night following a standoff in the day between residence and the Ministry of Health burial team. The former had refused to grant the authority a piece of land to carry out the burial. The dogs, in their numbers, were seen pulling the bodies out of the shadowed grave and hastily eating them.

A resident, who spoke to the NewDawn, said that the action of the dogs has posed a serious health hazard to the entire Mount Barclay Community. Mr. Alfred Wiah noted that the dogs could easily spread the virus through further interactions with community dwellers.

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Liberian medic treated with experimental Ebola drug dies

skull black silhouette cross bones death - Public Domain

A Liberian doctor treated with experimental American anti-Ebola serum ZMapp has died, a minister in the west African nation said on Monday.

Abraham Borbor had been improving but died on Sunday night, Liberian Information Minister Lewis Brown told AFP.

“He was showing signs of progress but he finally died. The government regrets this loss and extends its condolences to the bereaved family,” Brown said.

Two other health workers receiving the serum are still in treatment, said the minister, adding that there were “signs of hope”.

(Read the rest of the story here…)

Soldiers spill blood in Liberian Ebola slum as riot breaks out over the quarantine of 50,000 residents

Liberia - Photo by Martin23230

Liberian soldiers opened fire on residents of a slum in their country’s capital city today after it was locked down in an effort to contain the spread of Ebola virus.

People ran screaming as soldiers from the country’s Ebola Task Force brutally enforced a quarantine of Monrovia’s West Point district ordered by the country’s president last night.

As the violence erupted in Liberia, hundreds of miles away a team of experts was meanwhile dispatched to a remote part of of Congo where 10 people died after suffering Ebola like symptoms.

It was not immediately clear if the victims had died of Ebola, but a witness said they had all suffered fever, diarrhoea and bleeding from the ears and nostrils – all symptoms of the deadly virus.

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Ebola facility in Liberia attacked; patients flee

Ebola - Photo by Thomas W. Geisbert

Ebola patients fled during an attack at a health care facility in Monrovia, Liberia, on Saturday, said Liberian National Police spokesman Sam Collins told CNN Sunday.

All patients who ran away had Ebola, and some chose to stay at the facility, Collins said.

The assailants stole mattresses and equipment, he said, adding that no one was injured in the incident and the attackers “were not trying to free the patients.” The assailants were using weapons but not wielding guns, according to Collins.

“It was an attack from people afraid of Ebola,” Collins told CNN. “Everybody is afraid.”

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Ebola Outbreak: Armed Men In Liberia ‘Poison’ Wells Killing Villagers Under Pretext Of Epidemic

Poison - Public Domain

Armed men have allegedly poisoned wells in Liberia’s New Georgia in order to kill the residents under the pretext of Ebola outbreak.

The water from the wells and pumps has been used by thousands of people in the area.

At least 16 people are suspected to be dead because of well-poisoning in the Margibi community.

It is still unclear what the exact motive of the culprits was. Witnesses have reported sighting armed men introducing suspected poisonous substances using syringes.

The villagers reported the incident to the police and investigators are said to be looking into the matter.

“Nobody is having exact information as to the diagnosis and everybody is confused. So the [well poisoning] incident that happened yesterday at the [New Georgia] junction is a wakeup call on the government, especially the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOH&SW), to test the water in every well,” Buston Kolliegbo, a resident, told the Daily Observer.

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Bodies dumped in streets as West Africa struggles to curb Ebola

Liberia - Photo by Martin23230

Relatives of Ebola victims in Liberia defied government quarantine orders and dumped infected bodies in the streets as West African governments struggled to enforce tough measures to curb an outbreak of the virus that has killed 887 people.

In Nigeria, which recorded its first death from Ebola in late July, authorities in Lagos said eight people who came in contact with the deceased U.S. citizen Patrick Sawyer were showing signs of the deadly disease.

The outbreak was detected in March in the remote forest regions of Guinea, where the death toll is rising. In neighboring Sierra Leone and Liberia, where the outbreak is now spreading fastest, authorities deployed troops to quarantine the border areas where 70 percent of cases have been detected.

(Read the rest of the story here…)

Bodies Of Ebola Victims Being Abandoned In The Streets In Liberia

Skull And Crossbones - Public Domain

The deadly scourge of Ebola means people here no longer shake hands when greeting each other. In taxi cabs where people used to cram onto the laps of others, drivers now can carry only four people or risk fines.

Plastic buckets are selling at a record pace to people who fill them with chlorine to disinfect their hands.

And Monday Liberian health authorities ordered that all Ebola victims must be cremated as the virus blamed for killing at least 729 people across West Africa shows no sign of slowing down. At least 17 bodies have been abandoned on Monrovia’s streets in recent days, health officials say.

“This situation has gotten worse. We need our concerted effort, this country needs everybody right now,” Information Minister Lewis Brown announced Monday.

West Africa is experiencing the worst recorded Ebola outbreak in history, and the virus now has infiltrated three African capital cities. Never before has the disease with a fatality rate of at least 60 percent become so entrenched in urban population centers.

(Read the rest of the story here…)

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