05.01.2016

This remained a serious challenge for curbing new transmissions as people did not report on suspected cases and continued to care for loved ones at home.

The poor country’s health system was already weak and totally unprepared for responding to a health crisis of this magnitude. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Kailahun District and the Red Cross Federation in Kenema District were the first to open Ebola Treatment Units and improve the laboratory testing. The district hospital in Kenema was the first government facility to offer treatment for people infected with the virus. However, in early July no specialist protection equipment was available, the professional knowledge to tackle Ebola was still very limited, and hygiene standards were low. So the hospital itself became a vector of Ebola, which spread to the urban population of Kenema and from there further on to the rest of the country.

The virus was able to move and spread geographically with human beings’ commotion and trade due to its long incubation period of 21 days during which an infected person who was not yet symptomatic could travel to other areas and spread the virus.