"In Liberia, the situation is deteriorating rapidly, with cases of Ebola virus disease now confirmed in seven counties, including in the capital, Monrovia," Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF or Doctors Without Borders), which is providing much of the medical care, says in a statement. "There are critical gaps in all aspects of the response, and urgent efforts are needed to scale up, particularly in terms of contact tracing, organizing safe burials, and establishing a functioning alert system."
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Like other groups, they're thin on the ground. "Already stretched beyond capacity in Guinea and Sierra Leone, MSF is able to provide only limited technical support to the Liberian Ministry of Health," the group added.
"The outbreak has grown to the point where there is a desperate need for more international intervention," said Michael Stulman, a spokesman for Catholic Relief Services in Sierra Leone. "Right now it's being carried on the shoulders of groups like Samaritan's Purse and MSF in close cooperation with CDC and WHO. But there is a desperate need."
There's no specific drug to treat Ebola. The best treatment is saline intravenous solution, along with fever reducers and antibiotics to take care of any secondary infections. Patients need constant supervision to make sure their blood pressure doesn't crash to deadly levels, and to try to control the vomiting and diarrhea that so weakens them.
They must be isolated, and constant disinfection is vital. It runs the doctors, nurses and technicians ragged, says Dr. William Fischer of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, who's treated Ebola patients in Gueckedou, Guinea.
"It's tough to describe what it's like there, other than to say intense," Fischer told NBC News. "It's incredibly taxing both physically and emotionally."
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Stulman said his group was rushing to build new facilities to care for dozens of patients. In Kenema, in Sierra Leone, one hospital is now entirely devoted to 60 Ebola patients, says Dr. Robert Garry, a Tulane University virologist helping to fight the outbreak.