A health clinic in Monrovia was raided by a group of armed men Saturday night, and nearly 30 patients infected with Ebola have disappeared, potentially spreading the deadly virus throughout the West Point slum of the Liberian capital.
The men who ransacked the clinic chanted, "There's no Ebola in Liberia," as they looted the place, the Guardian reported.
Health workers move the body of a fellow health worker who was found dead in a seat, and who they believe passed away from the Ebola virus, at one of the largest hospitals in the city of Monrovia, Liberia, Saturday, Aug. 16, 2014. The Ebola outbreak that has killed more than 1,100 people in West Africa could last another six months, the Doctors Without Borders charity group said Friday. (AP Photo/Abbas Dulleh)
The fact that items were looted from the clinic only heightens the health risk to the general public.
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.
"All between the houses you could see people fleeing with items looted from the patients," the official said, adding that he now feared "the whole of West Point will be infected."
Some of the looted items were visibly stained with blood, vomit and excrement, said Richard Kieh, who lives in the area.
Liberian police restored order to the West Point neighborhood Sunday. Sitting on land between the Montserrado River and the Atlantic Ocean, West Point is home to at least 50,000 people, according to a 2012 survey.
As the Guardian noted, the latest Ebola outbreak has claimed over 1,000 lives in the West African nations of Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Nigeria this year.
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