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Dead Ebola victims litter streets in Liberia, U.S. outbreak still unlikely
By Jim Hagerty
Bodies of infected Ebola victims are beginning to litter the streets in Liberia while a government-ordered quarantine is being ignored.
Officials say the dead are being left in the streets in violation of a government quarantine. However, villagers fear that a quarantine could be a death sentence; so bodies are being removed from homes and place on dirt roads.
“They’re exposing themselves to the risk of being contaminated,” Liberian Information Minister Lewis Brown said.
As of Wednesday, 932 people in four countries have died since the virus was discovered. More than 1,700 have been infected in West Africa since March.
The World Health Organization (WHO) kicked off a two-day meeting Wednesday to mull the possibility of a global Ebola threat. So far, no deaths have been reported outside of Africa.
Two Americans, Nancy Writebol and Kent Brantly, who caught the virus in West Africa, are being treated in Atlanta. Patrick Sawyer, a naturalized American also infected in Liberia, died last month. However, health officials say an outbreak in the United States is unlikely.
An Ohio woman and toddler in New York were suspected of having Ebola tested negative for Ebola Tuesday.
The United Nations is expected to announced a plan to control the virus Friday.
Ebola, otherwise known as Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever (EHF) and Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), is not contagious until symptoms appear. Once they do, fever, headaches, vomiting and kidney failure can take over and spread quickly to others. Without immediate treatment, the virus has a 59-percent fatality rate. In some cases, the fatality rate is as high as 90 percent.
The way to avoid contracting Ebola and preventing an outbreak is to avoid West African nations until the CDC has eliminated the threat. Those who have traveled to the region are urged to see a doctor immediately.