More than 29 patients fled a Liberian Ebola quarantine center Sunday after armed men looted the suburban Monrovia high school where they were being housed, Agence France-Presse reported. “They broke down the doors and looted the place. The patients all fled,” Rebecca Wesseh, who witnessed the attack, told the AFP.
Witness said the raiders were armed with bats and chanted Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf “is broke.”
“She wants money. There's no Ebola [in Liberia],” the looters reportedly said. In addition to the patients, several nurses also fled.
Locals have a widespread attitude of mistrust in response to the Ebola outbreak, with citizens believing foreigners brought the disease to their countries. Many areas have refused help from outsiders and locals have even resorted to attacking health workers trying to combat the disease. Recently, Kenya closed its borders to travelers from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, the countries most affected.
Ebola has killed more than 1,100 people in West Africa since February with Liberia's death toll at 413. Reports indicate it could take as long as six-months to contain the disease.
Ebola is spread through contact with bodily fluids of an infected person, such as sweat and blood. There is currently no cure or vaccine for Ebola. An experimental drug has been made available to a few people; however, the effectiveness of the drug is unknown.