Liberia shuts schools as Ebola spreads, Peace Corps leaves three countries

Thursday, July 31, 2014
By Paul Martin

ChicagoTribune.com
July 30, 2014

Liberia will close schools and consider quarantining some communities, it said on Wednesday, rolling out the toughest measures yet imposed by a West African government to halt the worst outbreak on record of the deadly Ebola virus.

“This is a major public health emergency. It’s fierce, deadly and many of our countrymen are dying and we need to act to stop the spread,” Lewis Brown, Liberia’s information minister, told Reuters. “We need the support of the international community now more than ever. We desperately need all the help we can get.”

Security forces in Liberia were ordered to enforce the action plan, which includes placing all non-essential government workers on 30-day compulsory leave.

Highly infectious Ebola has been blamed for 672 deaths in the West Africa nations of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, according to the World Health Organization. Liberia accounted for just under one-fifth of those deaths. The first cases of this outbreak were confirmed in Guinea’s remote southeast early this year. It then spread to the capital, Conakry, and into neighboring Liberia and Sierra Leone.

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