Efforts to contain the deadly Ebola outbreak in West Africa have not stopped the fear of widespread contamination. Residents in the most affected countries worry as the dead are buried, and there is growing concern among people in the U.S. as an infected aid worker arrives for treatment.
The death toll from the Ebola outbreak has reached an alarming 729, which according to the World Health Organization is likely to be even higher. The fear and panic among residents in the countries most affected is rising.
People in a village in Liberia, one of the three African countries hit hardest by the outbreak, chased away health workers and soldiers who tried to bury victims in local areas. Although the victims are buried in plastic bags, residents fear catching the disease. Some yelled “you’d have to kill us all first” to the soldiers.
“We heard that there was some problem in other communities, so we came to give them cover protection so the bodies can be buried.”
Concerns about the outbreak hit home in the U.S. on Saturday as an American aid worker who contracted Ebola arrived at an Atlanta hospital for treatment. Dr. Kent Brantley is the first of two American aid workers to be treated in the U.S. The medical personnel handling the case made sure he was traveling under the highest level of protection, from the plane to his suit. But while some people say it’s fair to allow a U.S. citizen to be treated in his own country, others fear a local outbreak.
The other aid worker, Nancy Writebol, is expected to be transported to the hospital within the next few days.
Meanwhile, the leaders of the worst-hit areas in West Africa and international health organizations are stepping up the fight against Ebola by setting up quarantine areas and closing schools. The World Health Organization will hold an emergency meeting on Wednesday to discuss the outbreak.