Doctors in Sierra Leone: 'We are Two Steps Behind' Fighting Ebola

Sierra Leone (CNN) -- It's Monday, mid-morning as we drive east down rain-slicked roads. There are no cars, no trucks, and no people. Sierra Leone's government demanded a shutdown and its citizens are listening. The West African nation crippled by Ebola is responding to the outbreak through a day of prayer and reflection.

But that gives little comfort to us. Ebola is a disease that spreads fear faster than it infects. And the emptiness makes us uneasy.

We're headed to Doctors Without Borders or MSF's treatment facility in Kailahun, a border community in the middle of the Kissi triangle, linking the country with Liberia and Guinea. Simply put, it's the epicenter of this unprecedented epidemic.

Already more than 1,700 people have been infected across the three countries and now Nigeria and possibly more. Ebola can kill up to 90% of those infected andmore than 930 people have already died in this epidemic, dwarfing all previous Ebola outbreaks.The WHO has just declared it a public health emergency. But as we sit down with MSF's emergency coordinator at their makeshift headquarters, we realize, months since the first infection, no one yet truly knows the outbreak's full scope.

"We are too late. In an Ebola outbreak you need to be a step ahead. We are two steps behind," says Anja Wolz.

What MSF needs, says Wolz, isn't more doctors -- they have those. What's needed are more experts out in the communities, to trace the disease and help train local health workers, she says.

Read the full story at CNN.


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