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Liberians riot after government fails to collect bodies of dead Ebola victims

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Angry crowds in Liberia blocked the nation’s busiest thoroughfare to protest delays by government officials in collecting the bodies of Ebola victims, which have been lying in the street in Weala (50 miles from the nation’s capital of Monrovia) for more than two days. In the meantime, riot police were called out to try and bring some order to the area and “prevent people from taking the law into their own hands, according to a statement by Liberia's information minister Lewis Brown. Brown also admitted that the country’s health care system had underestimated the severity of the outbreak and was over-taxed to the point of “falling apart.”

The government has ordered all Ebola victims to be cremated to prevent further spread of the devastating disease, which is spread through contact with the bodily fluids of those infected. So far there have been more than 1,000 deaths from Ebola throughout western African countries including Sierre Leone and Guinea, with the highest concentration of infection now found in Liberia, where Brown told the BBC it is now affecting the most populated area. Far from being contained, the disease is spreading rapidly to other regions as well. Two American missionaries working as health aids in Liberia were stricken by the disease, although both seem to be improving at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, where they are being treated with the new experimental drug Zmapp. In addition, the Spanish government also reported that a 75-year old Roman Catholic priest Miguel Pajares infected with Ebola in Liberia is undergoing treatment with Zmapp at Carlos III Hospital in Madrid.

Brown also stated that many people in Liberia were "in denial".

"There are religious practices and beliefs, long-held traditional values that are being challenged by the procedures to cure or at least prevent the spread of disease," he said.

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