Via The Guardian: Ebola: Sierra Leone village in lockdown after 31 new cases recorded. Excerpt:
Efforts to beat Ebola in Sierra Leone have been dealt a setback after 31 new cases were recorded in one village.
The community of 500 just outside the town of Makeni has now been put in lockdown by the army amid fears that more could be infected.
The World Health Organisation said cases have been linked to one man who escaped a quarantine in Freetown to go home to his village to get treatment from a traditional faith healer.
The quarantine area is a fishing community, yards from the hotel where many of humanitarian agencies have stayed.
“On Sunday we had just five patients, it was really quiet,” said Bill Boyes, spokesman for the International Medical Corps (IMC) in Makeni.
“Then all of a sudden the ambulances started arriving and we had 16 people and it hasn’t stopped since. I think we have about 50 patients with 31 confirmed Ebola cases,” he said.
It is the busiest the 100-bed centre has been since it opened in December, with confirmed cases spilling out into an empty convalescent ward.
Most of the patients are part of the fisherman’s extended family.
The flare-up comes less than a week after the country recorded just two new cases of Ebola, the lowest since the virus first hit the country in May last year.
Boyes said he believed the rapid response will contain the disease to the village. “We had kind of being expecting it. It had been tailing off, but all it takes is one person.
“I was out in the village yesterday and the surveillance is really good, but this was just one person not heeding the advice. He knew he was sick and in danger and maybe he was just scared and wanted to go home.”
“I was in the village yesterday and you can smell the fear in the air.”