* Relatives, afraid of controls, leave infected bodies in
* Liberia deploys troops in Lofa County border region
* Nigeria says eight people display Ebola symptoms in Lagos
* British Airways suspends Liberia, Sierra Leone flights
* Liberia says outbreak will cut its growth forecast
By Clair MacDougall and Daniel Flynn
MONROVIA/DAKAR, Aug 5 Relatives of Ebola victims
in Liberia defied government quarantine orders and dumped
infected bodies in the streets as West African governments
struggled to enforce tough measures to curb an outbreak of the
virus that has killed 887 people.
In Nigeria, which recorded its first death from Ebola in
late July, authorities in Lagos said eight people who came in
contact with the deceased U.S. citizen Patrick Sawyer were
showing signs of the deadly disease.
The outbreak was detected in March in the remote forest
regions of Guinea, where the death toll is rising. In
neighbouring Sierra Leone and Liberia, where the outbreak is now
spreading fastest, authorities deployed troops to quarantine the
border areas where 70 percent of cases have been detected.
Those three countries announced a raft of tough measures
last week to contain the disease, shutting schools and imposing
quarantines on victim's homes, amid fears the incurable virus
would overrun healthcare systems in one of the world's poorest
In Liberia's ramshackle ocean-front capital Monrovia, still
scarred by a 1989-2003 civil war, relatives of Ebola victims
were dragging bodies onto the dirt streets rather than face
quarantine, officials said.
Information Minister Lewis Brown said some people may be
alarmed by regulations imposing the decontamination of victims'
homes and the tracking of their friends and relatives. With less
than half of those infected surviving the disease, many Africans
regard Ebola isolation wards as death traps.
"They are therefore removing the bodies from their homes and
are putting them out in the street. They're exposing themselves
to the risk of being contaminated," Brown told Reuters. "We're
asking people to please leave the bodies in their homes and
we'll pick them up."
Brown said authorities had begun cremating bodies on Sunday,
after local communities opposed burials in their neighbourhoods,
and had carried out 12 cremations on Monday. Meanwhile, in the
border region of Lofa County, troops were deployed on Monday
night to start isolating effected communities there.
"We hope it will not require excessive force, but we have to
do whatever we can to restrict the movement of people out of
affected areas," Brown said.
Finance minister Amara Konneh said the country's growth
forecast for the year was no longer looking realistic as a
result of the outbreak.
British Airways said it was suspending flights to
and from Liberia and Sierra Leone until the end of the month due
to public health concerns.
MISSIONARY DUE BACK IN UNITED STATES
A second American aid worker who contracted the Ebola virus
in West Africa arrived in the United States on Tuesday in a
serious condition, three days after her colleague was flown for
treatment at the Emory University Hospital in Atlanta.
The two saw their conditions improve by varying degrees in
Liberia after they received an experimental drug developed by
San Diego-based private biotech firm Mapp Biopharmaceutical Inc,
said a representative for Samaritan's Purse, the charity they
A New York hospital is also testing a man with symptoms of
the deadly disease, though a senior medical officer there said
it was probably not the deadly virus. Saudi Arabia was also
testing a man for suspected Ebola infection after he returned
recently from a business trip to Sierra Leone.
Concern grew over an outbreak in Lagos, Africa's largest
city, after medical authorities there said they had quarantined
14 people who came into contact with Sawyer after he arrived on
a regional flight from Liberia. The airline Asky has since been
barred from Nigeria.
"Of the 14 who have had serious contact with the victim,
eight have serious symptoms," Lagos Health Commissioner Jide
Idris told a news conference. "Only one of those quarantined has
tested positive ... The doctor who tested positive is now on the
mainland under intensive care."
With healthcare systems in the West African nations overrun
by the epidemic, the African Development Bank and World Bank
said they would immediately disburse $260 million to the three
countries worst affected - Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.
In Monrovia, however, some health clinics were deserted as
workers and patients stayed home, afraid of catching the
"The health workers think that they are not protected, they
don't have the requisite material to use to protect themselves
against the Ebola disease," said Amos Richards, a physician's
(Additional reporting by Daniel Flynn and Emma Farge in Dakar;
Editing by Will Waterman)