| WTF News | The Africanglobal ebola emergency is continually evolving in the worst ways possible. Recall the panic caused by a patient in Sierra Leone who was “kidnapped” from the hospital and eventually dying after being found guarded by relatives not interested in western medical help deemed untrustworthy. An attack on an ebola clinic confirmed Sunday morning has much worse implications as a few dozen patients are reported to have scattered, breaking their containment quarantine.
Via AFP Armed men attacked an Ebola isolation ward in the Liberian capital Monrovia overnight, prompting 29 patients to flee the facility, witnesses said Sunday. “They broke down the doors and looted the place. The patients all fled,” said Rebecca Wesseh, who witnessed the attack and whose report was confirmed by residents and the head of Health Workers Association of Liberian, George Williams
It gets worse. The mob supposedly looted not only clean supplies donated, but used treatment items.
AP Liberian officials fear Ebola could soon spread through the capital’s largest slum after residents raided a quarantine center for suspected patients and took items including blood-stained sheets and mattresses.
Well then. On average, the western African medical infrastructure has been ill equipped to handle the disease in its relatively early stages. The epidemic is now putting new strain on the communities as villages of all size turn to new (?) tactics such as soft isolation and in some cases, the “cordon-sanitaire”, or basically a big perimeter where the possibly infected must not leave. Rations and supplies allowed in, people not allowed out.
Breitbart With the World Health Organization announcing that the number of Ebola cases globally has neared the 2,000 mark AND the death toll nearing half of that, the government of Sierra Leone is implementing a centuries-old tactic to keep villages contaminated with the virus quarantined from the rest of the country.
ABC News reports that the government is now using the “cordon sanitaire” to keep individuals affected away from more densely populated areas that have steered clear of the virus. The tactic closes off affected areas, passing food and water through a small sanctioned area so as to not starve out the residents, but keeps all individuals within the cordon sanitaire from leaving the area.
The traditional cordons used in Europe functioned to close off areas affected by the bubonic plague, and, as the New York Times notes, could leave those within the cordon to die of starvation. “They have the potential to become brutal and inhumane,” writes the newspaper. “Centuries ago, in their most extreme form, everyone within the boundaries was left to die or survive, until the outbreak ended.”
The most recent large-scale use of the cordon, according to the New York Times, was in 1918 and used to keep typhus from spreading out of Russia.
Experts say that, while drastic, the cordon sanitaire method may work to keep Ebola out of untainted areas. Writing for The New Republic, Laurie Garrett describes the use of cordons in 1995 to stop the then-current Ebola outbreak. The isolation, she writes, “was brutally successful, as all trade to the Kikwit region ground to a halt, the desperately poor people were fully isolated to war with Ebola on their own, and few outsiders were able to find ancient military aircraft willing to fly to the town, landing on its ‘runway,’ a weedy soccer field.” Were such cordons used earlier, she argues, “we probably would not now be facing an epidemic that threatens to spread in the most populous nation on the African continent, Nigeria.”
Villages have been shunning the possible infected in many ways, some seen as inhumane, how long can this last? Numerous medical organizations have stated that it is difficult to get an actual count as the virus can be undetected in a person for 21 days in some cases. “Help” may even come in this form.
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