Via NPR's Goats and Soda blog, a fascinating post: Ebola In Remote Liberia, Through The Eyes Of A Local Health Worker. Excerpt:
Even as encouraging reports come out of Liberia that Ebola cases appear to be leveling off or declining, it's not the full story. In recent weeks, there was a major outbreak of Ebola in scattered villages of Rivercess County, in the remote, southeastern part of the country where Lorenzo Dorr, a Liberian health worker with decades of experience, is helping to improve local health systems.
Goats and Soda introduced Dorr back in September. He's been working with Last Mile Health, known in Liberia as Tiyatien Health, a nonprofit started by a Liberian-born physician that trains and deploys community health workers in remote areas.
That kind of approach is more critical now than ever — not only to keep Ebola in check but also to prevent future epidemics. Liberia's southeast has been relatively unaffected by Ebola — but this outbreak, with 24 deaths so far, shows that even far-flung areas are not immune. Dorr spoke with Goats and Soda from Cestos City, the Rivercess County capital.
How did the outbreak begin?
On Oct. 21, a lady who came to the county from Monrovia fell sick. She didn't seek care from a health facility. Instead she relied on traditional medicine. She sought treatment from drug peddlers and traditional healers. She eventually died.
News came to the city. The traditional council spokesman in the area, when contacted by the Rivercess County Health Team, instructed the community that nobody should touch her body, but the people didn't listen. Before the response team from the county health team arrived to the community, they bathed and buried her. A few days later they all started to get sick and began dying, one after the other.
There's a patient now who is positive and his wife is showing signs and symptoms, their child is a probable case. They are living in their home in a town about five hours' drive from Cestos City. We want to get them out but have not been able to do so. The roads are so bad that the ambulance could not access the community when tried to move in. The bridges were broken.
A total of 94 contacts were identified. Twenty-three who were considered strong contacts were sent to the Ebola treatment unit in Monrovia. Currently, 71 contacts are being monitored in the community. But some unidentified are still on the run, and they could infect other people. So there might be other deaths in the days to come.