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Looters rampage through Ebola quarantine center

The Associated Press is reporting that an Ebola quarantine center in Monrovia, Liberia, was attacked late Aug. 16 and looted. The attack on the center, located in the West Point slum, appears to have been triggered by the use of the center for patients from outside the city. The police have restored order in the area but looters were seen carrying equipment, bloody mattresses and other contaminated materials from the site.

Liberian police depart after firing shots in the air while trying to protect an Ebola burial team in the West Point slum on August 16, 2014 in Monrovia, Liberia
Photo by John Moore/Getty Images

The quarantine center houses patients suspected of having Ebola but not yet confirmed with the disease. A senior police officer told AP that items stolen from the clinic were "likely infected." Officials fear an Ebola outbreak in West Point due to exposure to the stolen items.

The BBC is reporting that at least 20 patients at the quarantine center are unaccounted for. Many of the patients fled during the violence that enveloped the clinic.

The latest data from the World Health Organization for Liberia continues to show that the country is seeing a rapid increase in Ebola illnesses. In the two day period between Aug. 12-13, the country reported 113 new cases. Thus far in the outbreak, Liberia has reported 786 cases, of which 190 are confirmed. There have been 413 Ebola-related deaths, and 154 of those are laboratory confirmed.

The Liberian Ministry of Health and Social Welfare is reporting data on the Ebola outbreak, as well. In its latest report, through Aug. 12, 86 health care workers have contracted Ebola and 36 have died from their illness.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) currently has more than 350 people working on "logistics, communications, analytics, management, and other support functions" in support of the international response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. As of Aug. 13, the CDC reported 55 staffers on the ground in the region, "14 in Guinea, 18 in Liberia, 16 in Sierra Leone, and seven in Nigeria." The total may change day to day but the CDC expects to maintain about 60 experts in the field continuously.

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