breitbart.com: International public health authorities confirmed 52 cases and 22 deaths in the ongoing outbreak of Ebola virus in Democratic Republic of Congo this week, where locals’ fear that medical professionals are intentionally spreading the disease has triggered at least two cases of families stealing patients out of hospitals.
Some locals believes that Ebola is a curse, not a medical condition, and prefer traditional healers to use magic against the curse rather than modern medicine. Others suspect the international relief organizations trying to prevent the disease from spreading are the ones who brought the virus into their communities, making containment and treatment difficult.
These concerns echo the struggles of fighting Ebola in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia in 2014, when an outbreak there killed over 11,000 people.
The incidents in which families stole patients out of hospitals occurred on Monday in Mbandaka, a port city near the urban capital of Kinshasa. According to Reuters, family members smuggled the relatives out by “walking them out of the hospital before putting them on the back of motorcycles.”
One of the patients died at home hours later. The other patient died dramatically in a local evangelical church, where an unidentified witness told Reuters she “came to testify that God had cured her of her illness” but died shortly after hospital officials found her in the church and brought her back to their care.
At least 19 people attended the church meeting where she had last spoken, leaving them exposed to the virus.