As the worst outbreak of Ebola virus in recorded history rampages through Western Africa, a woman in Sierra Leone died Saturday when her family abducted her from a hospital and brought her to a traditional “healer.” The woman died of Ebola in an ambulance on the way to a different hospital in Freetown, the capital city of the African country of about 6 million.
The woman’s abduction from King Harmon Hospital in Freetown set off a manhunt across the nation, and ended when the woman was found at the home of a traditional medicine practitioner.
Local superstitions have posed a difficulty to health workers attempting to contain the rampant Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa. On Friday, a march involving thousands descended on an Ebola treatment center in Kenema, a remote city in eastern Sierra Leone. The crowds claimed that the Ebola outbreak was not real and was actually a conspiracy to cover up “cannibalistic rituals” taking place inside the hospital.
As of Sunday, 454 people in Sierra Leone have been confirmed as Ebola cases, with 224 dying from effects of the Ebola virus since the current, historic outbreak began in February. Though the outbreak started in the adjoining country of Guinea, and has also hit hard in Liberia.
The World Health Organization reported on Sunday that 672 people had died of Ebola in four countries during the outbreak.
Fears that the epidemic could grow severely worse were heightened recently when a man with Ebola somehow boarded a plane in Monrovia, Liberia, and flew to Lagos, Nigeria — the most populous city on the African continent and a center of international trade — meaning that an outbreak of Ebola there could become an uncontrollable catastrophe.
The man was reportedly vomiting on the plane, according to Britain’s Telegraph newspaper, causing medical authorities to worry that other passengers may have been infected during the flight. The Liberian Ebola victim died soon after landing in Lagos. Health authorities are trying to track down other passengers on the flight.
As The Inquisitr reported earlier Sunday, an American doctor from Texas, Kent Brantly, is now battling for life after himself contracting Ebola while treating patients in Liberia. Coming down with the brutal and deadly virus is a major risk for health care workers, who must wear protective suits at all times while around infected patients.
A Liberian doctor, Samuel Brisbane, died on Saturday at an Ebola treatment center in Liberia.
The Ebola virus is believed fatal in up to 90 percent of cases. The death rate among Ebola victims in the current outbreak is around 60 percent.