Sierra Leone has become the new epicentre for the Ebola virus outbreak which is continuing to grow.
As of 20 July there had been 660 deaths in West Africa according to the latest figures from the World Health Organisation (WHO.)
It’s the worst outbreak of the disease ever recorded. And it seems uncontrollable.
Until now, the capital Freetown had been free of Ebola. But on Saturday it had its first victim – a female patient who died after her family took her forcibly from the hospital to a traditional healer.
Health workers have been amongst the victims of Ebola, particularly at Sierra Leone’s main Ebola hospital in Kenema. Several nurses have died from the virus and eight have been infected as well as the chief doctor Omar Khan.
In neighbouring Liberia two Americans, one of whom is a doctor, are also infected and a prominent Liberian doctor has died.
WHO Epidemiologist Chris Lane says they lack the basic resources needed to fight the virus.
“The resources we desperately need are personnel, logistics in terms of the standards, PPE, medication, general hospital equipment. So this is an emergency, and we are already in trouble, we are already fighting something that is very, very large, it is going to get a lot larger if we do not get a lot more resources.”
The virus began in Guinea on 22 March 2014. It then spread to Sierra Leone and Liberia. Now Nigeria has confirmed its first Ebola death.
A Liberian man, who had travelled to the Nigerian capital Lagos last week began showing symptoms and died on Friday.
Lagos is the biggest city in the country with some 20 million inhabitants but has an extremely basic healthcare system.