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Liberia Fights Deadly War Against Ebola Virus

Senior Getty Images photographer John Moore documents the fight against the Ebola virus in Monrovia, Liberia.

The World Health Organization on Monday urged Liberia and other Ebola-affected countries to screen all passengers leaving international airports, sea ports and major ground crossings. The situation became more dire when 17 people fled an Ebola medical center over the weekend when it was attacked by looters who stole blood-stained sheets and mattresses and took them into Monrovia’s West Point, an enormous slum.

Health officials were combing the area that is home to at least 50,000 people to try to stop the virus from spreading further in a country where more than 400 people already have died.

In the photo above, a security guard looks over the impoverished neighborhood on Aug. 15.

John Moore / Getty Images Europe

Workers prepare the new Doctors Without Borders Ebola Management Center on Aug. 17, near Monrovia, Liberia. The facility initially has 120 beds, making it the largest such center for Ebola treatment and isolation in history. The Ebola epidemic has killed more than 1,000 people in four African countries, and Liberia now has had more deaths than any other country.

John Moore / Getty Images Europe

Hanah Siafa lies with her daughter Josephine, 10, while hoping to enter the new Doctors Without Borders, Ebola treatment center on Aug. 17, in Monrovia, Liberia.

John Moore / Getty Images Europe

A man lies in a newly-opened Ebola isolation center set up by the Liberian health ministry in a closed school on Aug. 14, in Monrovia. People suspected of contracting the Ebola virus are being sent to such centers in the capital Monrovia where the spread of the highly contagious and deadly Ebola virus has been called catastrophic.

John Moore / Getty Images Europe

Children stand in a newly-opened Ebola isolation center set up in a school closed due to the epidemic on Aug. 14, in Monrovia.

John Moore / Getty Images Europe

Local residents tell patients in an Ebola isolation ward to come out, as a mob overran the facility in the West Point slum on Aug. 16. A crowd of several hundred people, chanting, "No Ebola in West Point," crashed through the gates and took out the patients, saying that the Ebola epidemic is a hoax.

During the raid, 37 patients who might have Ebola left, many returning to their own communities, said government Information Minister Lewis Brown. So far, 20 have been brought back to two hospitals in the capital and authorities are still looking for the others, he said.

John Moore / Getty Images Europe

Children sit outside their homes in an impoverished community on Aug. 15. Poor sanitation and close living quarters have contributed to the spead of the Ebola virus, which is transmitted through bodily fluids.

John Moore / Getty Images Europe

A Liberian health worker disinfects a corpse after the man died in a classroom now used as Ebola isolation ward.

Ebola is spread through direct contact with bodily fluids, and there is no licensed treatment. The only way to contain the disease is to isolate the sick and closely watch those they have come into contact with for signs of infection.

John Moore / Getty Images Europe

Korpo Klay watches as a Liberian health department burial team prepares to enter the home of her deceased cousin Kormassa Kaba, who was suspected of dying of Ebola. Teams of undertakers wearing protective clothing are retreiving bodies from all over the capital of Monrovia. Doctors Without Borders reports that an outbreak continues to rage virtually unchecked in this city of approximately one million people, far exceeding the capacity of the few medical facilities accepting Ebola patients.

John Moore / Getty Images Europe

Women pray for an end of the Ebola epidemic on Aug. 14 in Monrovia. Authorities have struggled to contain the spread of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.The disease has killed 1,145 of the more than 2,000 people sickened in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.

John Moore / Getty Images Europe

Liberian Foreign Affairs Minister Augustine Ngafuan hand-carries boxes of the experimental Ebola-fighting drug ZMapp on a Delta Airlines flight from New York's JFK airport to Monrovia on Aug. 13. The Liberian government says the drug is meant to be used to treat Liberian doctors infected by the deadly virus.

The disease has taken a heavy toll on health workers in the region, with some 170 infected, of whom more than 80 have died.

John Moore / Getty Images Europe

A burial team from the Liberian health department prays before entering a house to remove the body of a woman suspected of dying of the Ebola virus.

John Moore / Getty Images Europe