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Ebola Virus Outbreak

Sierra Leone Begins Three-Day Ebola Lockdown

Thousands of health workers knocked on doors across Sierra Leone on Friday in search of hidden Ebola cases as the entire West African nation was locked down in their homes in an unprecedented effort to combat the deadly disease.

Authorities hope to find and isolate Ebola patients who have resisted going to health centers, often seen only as places to die. UNICEF said the measure provides an opportunity to tell people how to protect themselves. "If people don't have access to the right information, we need to bring life-saving messages to them, where they live, at their doorsteps," said Roeland Monasch, UNICEF Representative in Sierra Leone.

Some international health experts have warned that such a strategy could backfire, especially if there are not enough beds at treatment centers for all the new patients found during the three-day lockdown which began Friday. During this first-ever Ebola outbreak in West Africa, some people have lashed out at health workers, accusing them of bringing the dreaded disease. Six people have been arrested in the killings of eight people in Guinea who had been on an Ebola awareness campaign there, the Guinean government said Friday.

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-The Associated Press