Originally published September 28 2014
World War E: Research documents how Ebola turned Liberia into a viral apocalypse
by Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
(NaturalNews) The fourth poorest country in the world has transformed into the real-life equivalent of a zombie movie thanks to the Ebola virus, which as of this writing has taken the lives of over 2,600 people in West Africa. All the panic in the streets, public protests, workers in hazmat suits, and military convoys represent the trappings of World War E for Liberia, coming a little more than a decade after the nation overcame two civil wars that completely ravaged its economy and infrastructure.
Using images to tell the story, the site Medium takes readers on a visual journey documenting Liberia's descent into zombie apocalypse chaos. Prior to the Ebola outbreak, Liberia had slowly been reestablishing itself following two decades-long civil wars. Most of what had been accomplished in that time, however, has since come crumbling down as a result of the outbreak, making an already difficult situation far worse.
Most doctors trained to deal with Ebola fled Liberia when outbreak hit Part of Liberia's recovery included making preparations for potential Ebola outbreaks in the future. According to International Business Times, there were about 200 on-the-ground doctors in Liberia prior to the outbreak who had been trained to deal with Ebola. But about 95 percent of them fled once the outbreak began, leaving the nation's more than 4 million residents to fend for themselves.
"This Ebola outbreak in Liberia has exposed the country's inherently weak health system," stated Dr. Frank Glover from the Christian charity group SIM before the House Foreign Affairs Committee. "Less than 200 doctors existed in this country of 4 million people prior to this epidemic. After the outbreak in March of this year, that number plummeted to only 50 doctors."
Most Liberians make barely enough money for food This mass exodus of trained health professionals has caused major panic throughout the nation, including in the capital city of Monrovia. On August 18, 17 Ebola patients escaped a quarantine facility in Monrovia, which was likely understaffed, sparking riots and looting in the city streets. Like something straight from a zombie movie, locals were seen throwing rocks at the quarantine center in panic and rage.
One of their concerns is that the government has been depriving patients of food and water, not to mention deliberately bringing sick patients into communities where the disease could quickly spread and lead to massive destruction. The crisis has already led to massive food shortages, which in turn has increased the price of food.
In a nation where roughly half of the population spends most of their income just to eat, this is a very serious problem. According to Bridges Africa, the price of cassava, a key food crop in Liberia, has increased by about 150 percent since the start of the outbreak. This has put incredible strain on the Liberian people, who on average earn a mere one dollar per day as livable income.
No clean water means many more lives will be lost Clean water is also hard to come by in Liberia, with roughly one-quarter of the population unable to access it as needed even when there's not an outbreak. To make matters worse, the Liberian government is currently spending most of its general budget to deal with the crisis, which means there isn't much left over to provide clean food and water.
"At the moment West Point is stuck at a standstill and is in an anarchy situation," stated Moses Browne, an aid worker from the group Plan International, to CBC News. The West Point township is a slum that in recent days has seen long lines of people desperate for food. "We're not just fighting Ebola here[;] we are fighting hunger too."
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