TIME Infectious Disease

Looting of Ebola Clinic in Liberia Sparks Fresh Infection Fears

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Health workers are handed personal protective gear by a team leader, right, before collecting the bodies of the deceased from streets in Monrovia, Liberia, Aug. 16, 2014. Abbas Dulleh—AP

Kenya has also barred travelers from West Africa and suspended some flights

Liberian health officials are worried the deadly Ebola virus will spread after mattresses and sheets with suspected patients’ blood stains were stolen from a quarantine center late Saturday.

Residents from the West Point slum in the capital city of Monrovia raided a local facility Saturday night, assistant health minister Tolbert Nyenswah said, the Associated Press reports. Residents were upset that patients from other parts of Monrovia were taken to the center.

At least 20 Ebola patients were missing after the looting, the BBC reports, with officials warning that the stolen items pose a serious infection risk.

More than 400 people have already died of Ebola in the country, according to the World Health Organization. The “looting spree,” as one police official described it, has raised concerns about the country’s ability to contain the virus.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the continent, Kenya has barred the entry of passengers traveling from certain countries in West Africa, where the virus has had a recent outbreak. The ban, effective Tuesday at midnight, applies to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Kenya Airways previously announced it would suspend flights to some of those countries.

[AP]

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