Ebola is Spreading Like Wild Fire

With warnings from officials that the Ebola virus is “spreading like wildfire” in Liberia, Sarah Crowe, who works for the UN children’s agency (Unicef), describes her week on the Ebola front line:

Flights into disaster zones are usually full of aid workers and journalists. Not this time.

The plane was one of the first in after some 10 airlines stopped flying to Liberia because of Ebola, and still it was empty.

When I was last in Liberia in 2006, it was to work on reintegration of child soldiers in a time of peace. Now the country is fighting a “biological war” from an unseen enemy without foot soldiers.

As we enter the airport, an unnerving sight – a team of health workers kitted out with masks and gloves asks us to wash our hands with a chlorine solution and takes our temperatures.

It was to be the start of a new routine – the hours and days since, I have had my temperature taken about 15 times and have had to wash my hands with chlorine at the entrance to every building, every office, every store, and every hotel.

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It was a normal pregnancy, but she was turned away by every hospital as staff were too afraid to take her in case she had Ebola”

Even in small villages. And yet ironically, despite all this, few health facilities are properly functioning.

The next morning, the breakfast room at the hotel is buzzing – a large group of scientists from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) huddle around computers animatedly talking, checking charts and data.

The world’s Ebola experts are here – writing the first draft of Ebola history in real time.

The capital, Monrovia, reveals itself as a city branded by Ebola posters shouting out what people know all too well by now – Ebola is deadly, protect yourself, wash your hands.

Human booby traps

The talk in the car, on the radio is only about Ebola – people calling in want to know what to do when their child gets sick, they either fear health centres and hospitals or they are not treated.

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Dan Mullin is an active writer and editor for the Pluto Daily who covered the 2014 Ebola Outbreak. Mullin attended the Wake Forest School of Medicine before leaving to pursue his lifelong science goal of allowing humans to live forever via a computer/brain transfer.