September 2014 – MONROVIA, Liberia — Looking for a new approach to blunt the Ebola epidemic sweeping West Africa, the Liberian government, the World Health Organization and their nonprofit partners here are launching an ambitious but controversial program to move infected people out of their homes and into ad hoc centers that will provide rudimentary care, officials said Monday. The effort, which is expected to begin in the next few weeks, is an intermediate step, officials said. The goal is to reduce the chances that Ebola patients will infect their own families and others while ensuring that they receive basic care — such as food, water and pain medicine — at a time when many hospitals and treatment centers are closed. The initiative also is a tacit acknowledgment that it could be weeks, even months, before new treatment facilities promised by the United States and others are operational. Continued reliance on home-based care doesn’t do much good, officials said, in taming a devastating epidemic in a country where large groups of people live in crowded, urban settings.
The proposed community care centers, as they are dubbed by officials, would have between 15 to 30 beds. Ultimately, as many 70 centers could be set up across Liberia, if the strategy proves successful. Such a program has never been tried on such a large scale. A similar effort is being discussed for Sierra Leone. The total number of cases of Ebola in West Africa is doubling every three weeks, with each person with the virus infecting as many as two other people, health officials say. That high rate of transmission is making it impossible to contain the worst Ebola outbreak on record. The new treatment beds promised by Washington and others “are not coming fast enough,” Peter Graaf, the WHO’s country representative in Liberia said Monday. “We have to get to the point where every Ebola patient infects less than one [other person]. You have to get out of your house.” –Washington Post
Borders sealed off to slow outbreak: Sierra Leone’s army has “sealed off” the borders with Liberia and Guinea in a bid to halt the spread of Ebola, the army spokesman said on Tuesday. The spokesman told Reuters that troops had been sent to all border crossing points. Ebola has killed more than 2,800 people in the three countries since the outbreak began in Guinea earlier this year. – The Star
The Black Death and its similarities with the Ebola outbreak: Fighting between Christians and Muslims (West and ISIS), no one thinking the virus could become pandemic, corpses left in the street, and the unending flow of death carts carrying bodies to burial – Is history repeating itself?