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Ebola outbreak declared international public health emergency


The rapid spread of Ebola has led to affected countries creating quarantined villages, medical roadblocks to halt the spread of the infection to cities, and military operations forcing people ill with the disease to stay in their homes, creating a modern-day version of the “Plague villages” created in medieval Europe, and demonstrating the extent of West Africa's suffering under the outbreak.

Liberia has quarantined remote villages at the epicentre of the virus in an effort control the epidemic, shutting them off from outside world and evoking the medieval methods deployed to deal with disease hundreds of years ago.

With few food and medical supplies getting in, many abandoned villagers face a stark choice: stay where they are and risk death or skip quarantine, spreading the infection further in a country ill-equipped to cope.

In Boya, in northern Liberia's Lofa County, Joseph Gbembo, who caught Ebola and survived, says he is struggling to raise 10 children under five years old and support five widows after nine members of his family were killed by the virus.