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After one quarantine center is attacked in Liberia, another large Ebola medical facility opens

August 18, 2014 at 6:21 PM EDT
An Ebola quarantine center was stormed Saturday in Liberia's capital by angry residents who charged that the patients had received little care, while others said that the outbreak was a hoax. Seventeen people are still missing after being spirited away during the attack, stirring concern that the disease will spread. But efforts to fight the outbreak have also gained momentum. Jeffrey Brown reports.
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JUDY WOODRUFF: Now the widening effects of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa continue to spread.

Jeffrey Brown has our update.

JEFFREY BROWN: There was no sign of Ebola panic this weekend in downtown Monrovia, Liberia’s capital.

But in a slum on Saturday night, angry residents stormed a quarantine center, stealing blood-stained sheets and spiriting away patients. Some charged those sent to the site had received little care. Others branded the Ebola outbreak a hoax. As of today, 17 patients were still missing, amid fears the attack will only spread the disease.

Ebola has now appeared in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Nigeria, in the worst outbreak on record. It’s killed at least 1,145 people.

Sierra Leone’s president, Ernest Bai Koroma, has appealed for more international help.

PRESIDENT ERNEST BAIN KOROMA, Sierra Leone: This is a call we are now making to the world, because we need treatment centers. And in treatment centers, we need clinicians that require specialized training. We don’t have that.

JEFFREY BROWN: The effects of the crisis in West Africa have rippled across the continent. The government of Kenya in East Africa closed its borders today to travelers from the affected countries. But efforts to fight the outbreak are also gaining momentum. On Sunday, Doctors Without Borders opened a 120-bed treatment site in Monrovia. It’s the largest such center in history.

And in this country, there’s word that two American patients being treated at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta are improving.