County in Liberia runs out of body bags for Ebola victims

County in Liberia runs out of body bags for Ebola victims
(Image credit: John Moore/Getty Images)

In areas of Liberia and Sierra Leone, there aren't enough body bags for victims of Ebola or protective clothing for the health workers trying to fight the virus.

There are "absolutely no body bags" in the northern Liberian county of Lofa, the country's Ministry of Health and Social Welfare said in a statement. Lofa is home to close to half of Liberia's 862 known Ebola cases. Liberia has fewer doctors per person than any other West African nation, Bloomberg Businessweek reports, and infections are spreading because many health care workers do not use their goggles, rubber boots, gloves, and gowns properly. Goggles and boots can be disinfected and used again, but all surgical gowns, scrubs, and gloves have to be destroyed.

In Sierra Leone, there are not enough vehicles to quickly take bodies out of homes. "Sometimes in remote areas, there are six or seven deaths on the same day and there's only one car available to properly deal with it," Roeland Monasch, a United Nations Children's Fund representative in the country, told Bloomberg Businessweek. "So that's very challenging and remains a serious risk factor."

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The World Health Organization reports that 1,229 Ebola deaths have occurred during this outbreak as of Aug. 16, with 2,240 cases total.

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