(NaturalNews) Liberia remains one of the nations most affected by the recent outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa, yet there has been a break-in there at an isolation center that held up to 30 afflicted patients, many of whom fled following the break-in -- and that has caused understandable concern among health authorities.
Now, according to various reports, as many as 50,000 people who lived in the immediate area of the facility have suddenly become at risk of developing the virus and spreading it; as of this writing, Ebola has killed nearly 1,200 people in West Africa in just a few months.
Several locals in the Liberian capital of Monrovia attacked the health facility on Aug. 16, reportedly in protest of a quarantine that had been established in the area. Residents of the West Point locality said they were angry about patients carrying the disease being relocated to the center.
"It was an attack from people afraid of Ebola," Liberian National Police spokesman Sam Collins told CNN. "Everybody is afraid."
'The whole community will be infected'
Many of the patients who fled the facility have still not been tracked down, reports said, and the fear of the disease spreading even further remains a valid concern, especially in a slum region near where the center is located. That has sown panic throughout the country that, so far, has had more than 400 Ebola-related deaths.
"All between the houses you could see people fleeing with items looted from the patients," a senior police official told Fox News, saying that he feared that "the whole of West Point will be infected."
The chance of the disease spreading rapidly, thus infecting untold scores of people, is extremely high, say health officials; the West Point area is particularly densely populated.
Some of the looted items were visibly stained with blood, vomit and excrement, said Richard Kieh, who lives in the area. Contact with infected substances and body fluids is the primary manner in which the virus is spread, health officials say.
But why would anyone want to break into an Ebola isolation facility to steal items that they should know can only spread the disease? Who would be motivated to do such a thing? What would be the purpose of spreading the virtually incurable virus? Is fear the correct motivator here?
Whether it is or isn't, the virus is, indeed, spreading.
As reported by USA Today August 23:
Ebola continues to spread in West Africa as Sierra Leone voted to pass a new amendment imposing jail time for anyone caught hiding an Ebola patient.
With 142 new cases recorded, the total number is now 2,615 with 1,427 deaths, the World Health Organization said Friday. The group added that the magnitude of the Ebola outbreak has been "underestimated."
Authoritarian methods will lead to more anger
If you've been following the outbreak of the disease for any time at all -- and our coverage of it here at Natural News -- you may have noticed that governments and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are becoming much more authoritarian in how they deal with it as it spreads.
"Many families hide infected loved ones in their homes," the World Health Organization wrote in an assessment. "Others deny that a patient has Ebola and believe that care in an isolation ward -- viewed as an incubator of the disease -- will lead to infection and certain death. Most fear the stigma and social rejection that come to patients and families when a diagnosis of Ebola is confirmed."
Anger over the quarantine mentioned as a possible cause of why the Liberian isolation facility was raided will surely only rise as more authoritarian measures like quarantines -- and 'shoot on sight' orders -- spread.