Sierra Leone officials appealed for help on Friday to trace the first known resident in the capital with Ebola whose family forcibly removed her from a Freetown hospital after testing positive for the deadly disease.
Reuters reports tha Radio stations in Freetown, a city of around 1 million inhabitants, broadcast the appeal on Friday to locate a woman who tested positive for the disease that has killed 660 people across Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone since an outbreak was first identified in February.
“Saudatu Koroma of 25 Old Railway Line, Brima Lane, Wellington,” the announcement said. “She is a positive case and her being out there is a risk to all. We need the public to help us locate her.”
Koroma, 32, a resident of the densely populated Wellington neighbourhood, had been admitted to an isolation ward while blood samples were tested for the virus, Health ministry spokesman Sidi Yahya Tunis. The results came back on Thursday.
“The family of the patient stormed the hospital and forcefully removed her and took her away,” Tunis said. “We are searching for her.”
Fighting one of the world’s deadliest diseases is straining the region’s weak health systems, while a lack of information and suspicion of medical staff has led many to shun treatment.