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Ebola Quarantine Center In Liberia Looted 359

Posted by samzenpus
from the getting-worse dept.
An anonymous reader writes The BBC and other outlets are reporting that a major quarantine center for patients who have been infected with the Ebola virus in Liberia has been looted and ransacked. Reports vary on the motive of the attack, but officials have confirmed that the Ebola patients are missing and that the quarantine center's medical supplies have been stolen. Officials say that the looters are highly likely to contract the virus themselves and worsen the epidemic further, as the WHO counts 1000+ lives claimed by the virus total."
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Ebola Quarantine Center In Liberia Looted

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 18, 2014 @05:15AM (#47693291)

    Start mass-producing the Darwin Awards.

    • by hooiberg (1789158) on Monday August 18, 2014 @05:22AM (#47693309)
      Maybe we can create group Award, now that Darwinism has become a team sport!
      • by Thanshin (1188877)

        While keeping the yearly Darwin Award, Maybe it's time to create a World Darwin Championship, every four years. With an opening ceremony, different disciplines and medals, a Shakira song, vuvuzelas,...

        As medal materials, instead of Gold, Silver and Bronze, I propose Polonium, Arsenic and compressed Gunpowder.

      • The Darwin Awards world cup?

      • Damn it! You took my line!
    • Indeed. While you're at it, you can produce some for us (the "West").
      I'm no leftie nutjob, but you've got to admin that the a lot of such problems are historically down to us...Africa, Middle East...)
      We brought technology without knowledge - if we had spent as much time educating these people over the centuries as we had killing and exploiting them, well, maybe things would be better.
      As it stands, this thing spreading out of control is just a short flight away...

  • by Chrisq (894406) on Monday August 18, 2014 @05:18AM (#47693295)
    I just hope this isn't a deliberate attempt to spread the virus, remove medical supplies and become martyrs
    • by Nyder (754090)

      I just hope this isn't a deliberate attempt to spread the virus, remove medical supplies and become martyrs

      I doubt it. Most likely just the typical bullshit you get in a 3rd world country. Low education, coupled by poverty, corrupt government and when you get a health epidemic, people panic and do stupid shit.

      Family supposed got some of the sick, which is understandable that they want to spend the last days with the people, and same for those that supposedly left when the riot started.

      As for the looting of the place and the start of the riot, who knows the real agenda there. Panic? Planned? Stupidity? Gu

      • Most likely just the typical bullshit you get in a 3rd world country. Low education, coupled by poverty, corrupt government and when you get a health epidemic, people panic and do stupid shit

        Terrorism is pretty common "bullshit" in some 3rd world countries. The culture of some groups that engage in terrorism celebrates self-sacrifice when engaging in terrorism. Indeed, there is essentially a death cult there when they state "we love death more than you love life." Terrible diseases like Ebola induce terror while killing many people. Modern air travel has reduced the what had been the travel of months to a few hours. Hmmm. Hmmm.

  • by aepervius (535155) on Monday August 18, 2014 @05:41AM (#47693363)
    but that would be callous because , unfortunately potentially the looter might contaminate other innocent people and worsen the epidemic. And also they are making it worst by destroying the (already strapped) existing infrastructure to treat epidemic. Unfortunately with some people thinking the doctor spread Ebola, and the funerary practice and belief winning over simple science and hygiene, my expectation of the locals are low. Fortunately due to our own procedure ebola is unlikely to become an epidemic in our region.
  • by kruach aum (1934852) on Monday August 18, 2014 @05:44AM (#47693369)

    It's probably easier to let these people die of ebola than it is to change the mind of someone who stubbornly believes in things that are false. There have been many information campaigns about the causes and prevention of transmission of ebola, up to and including rap songs, and yet they can't help themselves.

    • by hooiberg (1789158) on Monday August 18, 2014 @05:56AM (#47693395)
      These are the same people that believe that having sex with a virgin cures aids, and as such rape babies... I wonder if it is a really bad thing if the entire country were to die of ebola.
      • I don't believe that story at all. But even if it's true, what we're dealing with here is an ignorant, uneducated population most of whom don't have access to information, don't watch the daily news, don't (can't) read newspapers, haven't ever heard of the germ theory of disease, and with a government the members of which are enriching themselves in the traditional African way through corruption, coercion and violence.

        Thankfully the situation in Africa is slowly improving, though I think the current gene
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 18, 2014 @06:18AM (#47693433)

    I think it's necessary to understand what's going on Liberia. People there are uneducated, prone to superstition and there's a lot of ignorance about the Ebola outbreak over there, however people are acting rationally based on what they see. What they've seen is that when people go to one of these facilities, they tend to end up dead. If you're living there, ignorance of modern medicine and viruses and whatnot and you witness a loved one being taken to a hospital, it's understandable why people will not take it willingly.

    A lot of people think this is some "white-man's poison" that's infecting and killing folks. There's enough bad history with westerners fucking around with Africa that you can't really blame them for being predisposed to being suspicious at what doctor's are doing. Of course, that doesn't mean the situation is great for all concerned - it just isn't that surprising giving the environment.

    • by kruach aum (1934852) on Monday August 18, 2014 @06:58AM (#47693537)

      You say they act rationally based on what they see, and then describe them engaging in post hoc ergo propter hoc logic (people going to facilities end up dead, therefore the facilities are killing them), and being prejudiced against white people and doctors. I am unsure if you are clear on what "rational" means. Hint: it's not acting based on what you 'feel' is right or true, because feelings are notoriously bad at ferreting out either.

      • by mysidia (191772) on Monday August 18, 2014 @08:10AM (#47693819)

        They are forming a reasonable (but false) hypothesis which they cannot prove, given that they do not understand health or disease, and they do not believe the explanation people give them, because they lack the obedience training that westerners have.

        • by The Raven (30575)
          You are conflating 'understandable' with similar but different terms like 'reasonable' and 'rational'. Their superstitions and fears are understandable, but they are not based on reason.
        • ...they do not believe the explanation people give them, because they lack the obedience training...

          Inability to accept a rational explanation is not inability to obey, is inability to reason.
      • by nedlohs (1335013) on Monday August 18, 2014 @09:00AM (#47694109)

        "post hoc ergo propter hoc" is rational.

        "Everyone who has eaten those berries has died frothing at the mouth a few hours afterwards, thus we should probably not eat those berries" is rational. It might not actually be true, but it's a good first step. When people keep dieing in the same way after everyone has stopped eating said berries then you can move to a different hypothesis - but when that's all the information you have it would be irrational to keep eating the berries.

        In this case they already have other information - well I'm assuming the health care workers and government and so on are telling them something other than "oh yes, these are death camps where we torture and kill everyone who comes in the door".

        • Post hoc ergo propter hoc is sometimes irrational, otherwise it would be rational to believe that because day is followed by night day causes night, while in fact it is the rotation of the earth while being located near the sun that causes both. The specific example I mentioned in my post (people going to facilities end up dead, therefore the facilities are killing them) is also irrational, because it assumes causation where there is only correlation. Assuming causation when faced with correlation is really

          • by nedlohs (1335013)

            Your specific example is not irrational. It's the same situation as my eating berries example. At least until people keep dieing even after not going to said facilities. Assuming causation is what rational people do. It's the people who grab the hot pot, yell "ouch" and drop it and then proceed to grab it and yell "ouch" and drop it over and over again because they refuse to assume causation are the ones being irrational.

            That we "know" it's an incorrect hypothesis doesn't change that it's a rational first a

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Pino Grigio (2232472)
      Oh I see, it's the fault of us white males isn't it.
    • by cdrudge (68377)

      What they've seen is that when people go to one of these facilities, they tend to end up dead.

      As oppose to those that are infected that don't go to the facilities who don't just tend to end up dead, but are essentially guaranteed to be die from the virus.

    • This. This is why universal education for every human is the greatest long term solution to poverty there is. It's combating ignorance.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by sosume (680416)

      > There's enough bad history with westerners fucking around with Africa
      You mean, like greatly extending the life expectancy of Africans and providing education regarding prevention and hygiene? Really, these Western people you speak of must be some wicked tribe! To be honest, sometimes I think that this has lead directly to the massive overpopulation we see nowadays. Should we have let Darwin in charge?

    • by ilparatzo (3627897) on Monday August 18, 2014 @10:54AM (#47695161)
      I think that we're all taking this a bit too far down the rabbit hole and forgetting the simple answer ...

      "They have stuff over there that I could sell for money. I don't have money. I'm not a doctor, I don't know what is going on in those tents and I'm not allowed in. How about I just go and take all that stuff and sell it? If I get sick, that's okay, I've been sick before."

      Unless you're trying to write a book and need to up that word count, what more philosophical understanding does it take then that? If you're not careful, scientific over-analysis can just take you farther from the simple truth of a situation or at a minimum overly complicate it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 18, 2014 @06:29AM (#47693463)

    Anyone trying to breach a quarantine center should be shot.

  • Truly sad (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GeekWithAKnife (2717871) on Monday August 18, 2014 @06:32AM (#47693473)

    Unfortunately this is the sort of event that can make this virus' infections rates soar beyond control.

    Because of a small group of idiots the majority will suffer needlessly.

    I see some say "fuck 'em" and some have this attitude of not our problem - for lack of understanding that their problem can become our problem. If that's not a case for a reason to put more resources into education I don't know what is.

    It's everyone's problem when some person in Liberia, is now scared for his life and flees without knowing he is carrying the virus. In 48 hours he might be sitting next to you on a bus! -what are you going to say when people start bleeding their internal organs out of all orifices?

    You want to give out Darwin awards? start by considering you may get one yourself with such an attitude.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by kruach aum (1934852)

      No, it's fear mongers like you who are the problem. Ebola is spread by coming into contact with bodily fluids of an infected person. I don't know how you interact with people on the bus, but rarely do I get bled on on my way to work. Furthermore, people in 1st world countries are also less inclined to break people out of quarantine, think doctors are evil killers, or think that black magic is involved. On top of that, most of the people in the affected countries lack the wealth to transport themselves here,

      • Re:Truly sad (Score:4, Insightful)

        by GeekWithAKnife (2717871) on Monday August 18, 2014 @07:37AM (#47693659)

        People cough, they sneeze, they perspire and touch things. If they carry a deadly virus then this is a deadly problem.

        Did you ever use the toilet at work? - ever had issues of a bad stomach doing the rounds? any idea how many people don't wash their hands after taking a piss? -people you shook hands with. I'd not bet my life on this scenario being impossible.

        The fact that this is LESS likely to happen in a "1st world country" does not help right now. I'm not trying to terrify you into wearing a face mask; I am telling you this can get out of hand if we do not do more to help get this under control.
        Look at the hate some morons choose to spew at this very moment, racists, bigots and foolhardy posts. These so called "1st world" people might just ignore what they stupidly think is an African problem.

        While it's a shame that many people simply do not care about the suffering of others; if you ignore this it may just end up killing people you do care about. Does that sink in or are they not the people you typically see when you go to work?
        • If I ignore this it won't end up killing people I care about. I'm not saying it can't happen, but I am saying I'm willing to bet against those odds, much like I'm willing to bet that we're not in the matrix, that the sun will rise tomorrow, that I have hands, that solipsism is false, and that there is no god.


          • I am not arguing for intelligent design or alternate realities or my take on them. Ebola turning into a deadly mass plague is a real possibility,

            I understand there are few people you care about and it seems that unless this disease is likely to kill you then you're likely to ignore it killing some people "over there".

            Base on the above I would like to thank you for your application to the Darwin awards.

            While the chances are rather low; I wanted to inform you, as you are evidently a betting man, that th
            • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

              by Anonymous Coward

              Ebola turning into a deadly mass plague is a real possibility

              Before lecturing about risks of a plague you should read up on it (Ebola) more. For example, you mention a face mask. Ebola is not airborne. The fact that it is spread through physical contact is exactly what makes it (relatively) easy to contain in contrast with, say, influenza.

              That actually brings me to the next point - the flu is a much more deadly disease and kills lots more people. But here you are worrying about an Ebola plague.

              Do that thing that Slashdot blowhards rarely do: read up a little on somet

        • Re:Truly sad (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Carewolf (581105) on Monday August 18, 2014 @09:59AM (#47694627) Homepage

          Did you ever use the toilet at work? - ever had issues of a bad stomach doing the rounds? any idea how many people don't wash their hands after taking a piss? -people you shook hands with. I'd not bet my life on this scenario being impossible.

          Ebola is not as infectious as the flu. Absolute none of those scenarios would be able to transmit the disease. So yes, you are safe.

      • by mysidia (191772)

        No, it's fear mongers like you who are the problem. Ebola is spread by coming into contact with bodily fluids of an infected person. I don't know how you interact with people on the bus, but rarely do I get bled on on my way to work.

        Ebola can be transmitted through saliva. Often people cough, and there is a "fine mist"; if any of this lands on your skin, you can contract the disease through micro-abrasions in your skin

    • They don't think it's Ebola but they want to be sure:

      http://www.kob.com/article/sto... [kob.com]

      And this is just ONE person! Even if this one is not the one, statistics says a plane or boat full of carriers is coming sooner or later. May be time to stock up on Tyvek suits and bleach, for starters...

    • by OzPeter (195038) on Monday August 18, 2014 @07:56AM (#47693723)

      It's everyone's problem when some person in Liberia, is now scared for his life and flees without knowing he is carrying the virus. In 48 hours he might be sitting next to you on a bus!

      Ha! Ain't going to happen.

      I live in a suburb in the US with ZERO public transportation options. Not only that I won't pass them on the street either as there are no frickin' sidewalks as well.



      • Honestly, just substitute "bus" for any other mode of transportation. Go out on a limb and consider the greater possibilities.

        There will always be something/someone that this will not affect, great. Maybe you living in a nuclear bunker with a sophisticated air and water filtration system, good for you.

        What about the people at risk?
        • by OzPeter (195038)

          Honestly, just substitute "bus" for any other mode of transportation. Go out on a limb and consider the greater possibilities.

          There will always be something/someone that this will not affect, great. Maybe you living in a nuclear bunker with a sophisticated air and water filtration system, good for you.

          What about the people at risk?

          Apparently Facebook's expertise [slashdot.org] is needed here as well

    • You have presented the exact reason why many argue that we should shut down the US border, with the military as necessary, quarantine foreigners, and become a far more closed society.

      Education is an unproven method of preventing the spread of the plague. The three proven methods are: (a) kill the sick, burn the bodies; (b) quarantine all the sick and their families until they all die; (c) vaccine. Also, combinations of a and b and c.

      There is no amount of education that will guarantee that an infected carr

  • Meh (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Call it eBola and we'll have another bubble

  • by swb (14022) on Monday August 18, 2014 @07:51AM (#47693703)

    I'd say at least half of them have some kind of scene where panicked/ignorant locals ignore the medical experts and raid the quarantine centers. And usually it's one of those turning point moments in the narrative with disastrous consequences.

     

  • by TeethWhitener (1625259) on Monday August 18, 2014 @07:51AM (#47693705)

    You live in a country with a wildly corrupt government that repeatedly lies to you and regularly unburdens you of your basic human rights. Then one day, officials from this government force you and everyone you know at gunpoint to submit to a series of "tests." You notice that, all of a sudden, many of the most social and/or eldest (therefore vocal, therefore most likely to be community leaders/government dissenters) among you go missing and later mysteriously die. For good measure, a number of kids randomly disappear and die as well. The ones that survive tell horrible stories about the dismal conditions in which they were held, where they were injected with any number of things and only a few days later, became sick . The government (the same government that lies to you and considers you subhuman) tells you that the cultural practices that have been with your group for a thousand years are all of a sudden, just now, for reasons they don't have time to explain, causing you to get sick and die, and it just happens to selectively be wiping out the kids and the community leaders.

    If it were the US doing this, I conjecture that at the very least, this comment thread would have a radically different tone. Less "these guys are idiots," and more "these guys are heroes." What we're witnessing in Liberia is a tragic consequence of a corrupt power structure attempting, maybe for the first time, to legitimately help people that it has previously subjugated. The whole thing smacks of people acting in their and their community's best interests based on many many previous data points telling them government=bad, therefore avoid government. Unfortunately, it takes time to build a relationship of trust between a government and its citizens, and in the face of the calamity that Liberia is confronting, neither the government nor its citizens have any time to spare.

    • by Dr. Spork (142693)
      Thank you for an insightful post. No discussion of this will make sense without the point you made. IMO, it only makes the whole situation seem that much more tragic.
    • by pehrs (690959) on Monday August 18, 2014 @08:58AM (#47694097)

      A good and insightful post.

      The only thing you forgot is to mention why Liberia is one of the most miserable parts of Africa.

      Liberia is the only country in Africa founded by United States colonization while occupied by native Africans. It was financed by the American Colonization Society, an organization created to remove unwanted freed black slaves from America, to avoid a slave uprising like what happened in Tahiti. The colonizers became known as Americo-Liberians and promptly started to enslave the locals and selling them back to the US (with support from the American Colonization Society). The Americo-Liberians, led the political, social, cultural and economic sectors of the country and ruled the nation for over 130 years as a dominant minority. The atrocities under that regime were too many to count.

      The US continued to keep it a hell hole in the effort to fight communism, and from 1940 and forward pumped enormous sums into the budget country (about half the GNP was American aid for a while...). Of course most of this money vanished in corruption. But in return the evil communists were kept out. Eventually there was a coup in 1980, finally removing the Americo-Liberians, and starting two civil wars, killing about half a million and displacing about half of the country population. About 85% of the people live under the poverty level today.

      We sometimes speak of the Ghost of King Leopold, after the horrors in Congo. But when it comes to colonialism the American version seen in Liberia was at least as bad. And by doing it as a private enterprise they ensured that, unlike the state colonies, there never was a decolonization with support for forming a stable state.

    • Not fully correct (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      "and only a few days later, became sick" usually by the time the people are given in the hand of governmental instiuttion theyalready have been sick. Furhtermore a lot of people died at home and at some village a sizable percentage died (50 out of 500 persons was in article recently). So it is not as if people were taken and became sick afterward.
    • by fnj (64210)

      Yes, I DO live in a country with a wildly corrupt government that repeatedly lies to me and regularly unburdens many people's basic human rights. I live in the USA.

      Funny thing, though. My IQ is greater than 10 (fine; I did not lose the genetic lottery), and I CHOOSE not to be profoundly ignorant. I know that amidst all those negatives, health measures are a good thing, not some underhanded nefarious attempt to harm the people when those in charge could far more easily and efficiently just mow us down with b

  • The 30 patients taken and the contaminated materials are now in some field being killed and or and burned. It's not unthinkable that people in the government or just scared individuals will "purge" the area of all infected individuals. I would suspect this more than anything since the areas are prone to religious superstition. They could see this as punishment and the only way to fix the solution is cleansing of the infected.

It is not for me to attempt to fathom the inscrutable workings of Providence. -- The Earl of Birkenhead

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