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Sierra Leone locks down village after discovery of 31 new disease cases

Health officials say that the new infections were caused by one man who escaped quarantine in Freetown and sought help from a traditional healer in his hometown.

A Sierra Leonean village is currently on lockdown after the discovery of 31 new cases of Ebola.

“Within a week the man’s mother, father, uncle, brother and the faith healer who performed the traditional ceremony on him were all in the ETC [Ebola treatment centre],” the International Medical Corps (IMC) said.

The affected community, which is home to 500 people, is close to the town of Makeni.

“On Sunday we had just five patients, it was really quiet, Then all of a sudden the ambulances started arriving and we had 16 people and it hasn’t stopped since. I think we have about 50 patients with 31 confirmed Ebola cases,”Bill Boyes, spokesman for the IMC in Makeni, said.

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The man reportedly died 24 hours after his return and his father and the traditional healer soon followed suit.

Authorities in Sierra Leone were previously forced to conduct a door-to-door search for infected patients in Porto Loko after a spike in Ebola cases.

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