When it comes to surviving one of the world's deadliest diseases, there are few options and no guarantees.
A health care worker, wearing a protective suit, leaves a high-risk area in Monrovia. Pic: AFP. Source: AFP
INFECTED items are burnt, bodies are buried, schools are closed and flights are empty.
The deadly Ebola epidemic raging across Africa shows no signs of abating, with 3000 cases reported and 1500 deaths across five countries.
The World Health Organisation predicts there will be 20,000 cases and another six months before it is brought under control.
Health workers burn infected items in Monrovia, the hardest hit area. Source: AFP
Liberia has been hardest hit by the virus, which has impacted all areas of life. Pic: AFP. Source: AFP
So far, the outbreak has hit Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria with the first case reported in Senegal this week. A suspected case in Sweden was negative.
Yesterday nurses at Liberia's biggest hospital — the epicentre for the epidemic — went on strike to demand better pay and equipment.
The decision is in response to the fact one tenth of those who have died from the disease are health workers who haven't been given proper protective clothing.
Gloves are disinfected at a volunteer hospital. Pic: AFP. Source: AFP
A medical worker watches a strike for better salaries. Pic: AFP. Source: AFP
A spokesman for the group said they won't return until they are given hazmat style suits to guard against the virus — which is transmitted via bodily fluids and has a fatality rate of up to 90 per cent.
"From the beginning of the Ebola outbreak we have not had any protective equipment to work with. As result, so many doctors got infected by the virus. We have to stay home until we get the PPEs," John Tugbeh said.
Women demonstrate to raise awareness of the virus. Pic: AFP. Source: AFP
Infected people are left to die in the street, often stigmatised by the disease. Pic: AP. Source: AP
Liberia has denied permission for crews to embark from seaports into the country until the outbreak is under control. Pic: AFP. Source: AFP
A prolonged shutdown will seriously affect the country's ability to respond to the disease.
But Mr Tugbeh said in order to risk their lives, the nurses need proper equipment and pay.
A boy washes his hands before entering a mass on Sunday in Liberia. Pic: AFP. Source: AFP
Efforts to prevent the disease have focused on hygiene and educating people about how it spreads. Pic: AFP. Source: AFP
The epidemic has affected all facets of life across Africa since it reportedly started with a 2-year-old child in Guinea.
In Liberia, civil servants and non-essential workers have been ordered to stay home for a second month to stop the virus spreading.
A large slum was locked down in a 10-day quarantine which affected 75,000 people. Schools are also closed.
Thousands celebrate after their slum was released from lockdown. Being confined meant many people didn't have access to food or freshwater. Pic: AP. Source: AP
Sports trips have been cancelled while Ivory Coast has been warned it will be expelled from the African Cup of Nations if they don't host Sierra Leone in a qualifying match. The country has refused entry to players from the Ebola hit country.
Saudi Arabia has stopped granting visas to workers from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone and airlines have cancelled international flights to the region.
An empty flight bound for Monrovia. Pic: AFP. Source: AFP
A child prays at a church in Monrovia. Source: AFP
Meanwhile scientists are racing for a cure and it's a case of act first, think later when it comes to drugs that could be used to fight it.
One drug that has been used with success is ZMapp, taken by two US missionary workers who contracted the disease while working in West Africa and were flown to the US to recover.
Last week, scientists reported 18 monkeys infected with a different strain of Ebola and given the drug recovered, although it hasn't been officially determined safe for human use.
Despite this, all available stocks have been shipped to Africa. But even if it does work, the process of growing it on tobacco leaves is slow, and there is little hope enough can be made in time.
The supply of the one drug that has proven effective has been exhausted. Pictured, tobacco plants grow to create the ZMapp drug. Pic: AP. Source: AP
Meanwhile other vaccine candidates are in trail phase. Source: AP
A sick child is carried to an outside hospital. Lack of adequate facilities have been a major factor in the epidemic. Pic: AFP. Source: AFP
Japanese company Fujifilm is also trying to help. It has been producing flu drug Avigan which scientists think could help combat Ebola.
So far, the two American doctors who received treatment in the US have recovered while another Liberian doctor and a Spanish priest have died. Another two medical staff have been flown to London and are still being treated.
Airports around the world remain on high alert for sick travellers with signs of the disease.
In Africa, members of the World Health Organisation have been asked to avoid large gathering that could facilitate the spread of the disease.
For most people, there is nothing do to but wait.
A woman waits in Monrovia, Liberia. Pic: AP. Source: AP