West Point, Liberia is a densely populated breeding-ground for Ebola. When a few dozen families showed signs of the deadly disease, a local school was opened as a makeshift quarantine area. Young girls worked as ‘nurses’ and cared for the patients, cleaning them up (early symptoms include diarrhea and vomiting), often times with no gloves since the supply of 150 gloves was quickly used up.
Complicating the problem is a growing belief in the region that Ebola doesn’t exist in West Point; that all these patients had was ‘malaria’, which is why a gang of armed men broke into the school, released the patients (ran them off is a better way to put it), and stole armloads of bloody sheets, used gloves, and what few medical supplies remained.
This is a nightmare scenario. Patients at risk are still at large–possibly dying, dead, and very likely spreading the disease further. The men who broke into the school have been exposed. Their friends and family will be exposed. And West Point may soon see an explosion of Ebola patients.
Had this scenario been written into Under the Dome or The Stand, we would read it and shiver, but we’d have the comforting reassurance that ‘it is just fiction’.
The situation in West Point, Liberia is not fiction. The people, the parents, the children, the babies are real. And according to the World Health Organization, the nightmare outbreak may have another six months to run.
To learn more about the situation in Liberia, see Mob Destroys Ebola Center In Liberia Two Days After It Opens. and Why the Escape of Numerous Ebola Paatients in Liberia’s Worst Slum is So Terrifying