Liberia: Dogs eat remains of Ebola victims

2014-08-26 14:48
The body of a man found in the street, suspected of dying from the ebola virus is sprayed with disinfectant, in the capital city of Monrovia, Liberia. (File, AP)

The body of a man found in the street, suspected of dying from the ebola virus is sprayed with disinfectant, in the capital city of Monrovia, Liberia. (File, AP)

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Cape Town – Residents from a township in the Liberian capital of Monrovia have witnessed dogs eating the remains of dead Ebola victims.

NewDawn reports that after witnessing the dog’s behaviour in the Johnsonville Township, some young men immediately contacted the health ministry, but no action was taken.

The men tried to kill the dogs, but some escaped the scene leaving residents in fear, according to the report.

According to allAfrica the incident happened after a standoff between residents and the Ministry of Health burial team which resulted in the hurried burial of suspected Ebola victims a few weeks ago.

Packs of dogs were seen pulling bodies out of the grave and hastily eating them, said the report.

Dr Stephen Korsman from the UCT medical virology division told News24 that dogs and pigs are so far the only domestic animals identified as species that can be infected with the Ebola virus.

According to Korsman infections appear to be asymptomatic, "this means that dogs won't get sick but they still could carry a potential risk through licking or biting".

Earlier in August protesting residents called for the Liberian government to collect bodies lying in the streets, some for up to two days.

The tropical virus has infected more than 2 600 people of which 1 427 have died, according to an AFP report. The UN has warned that the fight against the virus could last a further six months.

- News24
Read more on:    un  |  liberia  |  ebola
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