In Liberia’s capital Monrovia, another Ebola hot spot, healers offer their herbal-based remedies at so-called pharmacies, although in a nod to the epidemic there are now jugs of chlorinated water outside their doors. Meanwhile, Ebola has torn through the country’s Pentecostal churches, after pastors tried to heal by laying their hands on the ill.

In one church just outside the capital of Monrovia, Ebola killed a pastor, his wife, an assistant pastor, his wife, and a prayer leader, as well as a pastor from a neighboring church who stopped by to try and heal them, said Rev. Kortu Koilor, the church’s only surviving leader, and a part-time health worker, who put a stop to the laying of hands on the sick.

In Kailahun, the Sierra Leone district bordering Guinea, locals blamed a rising death toll on witchcraft and organ harvesting, but spread risk by secretly cleaning and burying diseased corpses at night to usher them into the afterlife.

But the worst practice is seeing WHO workers as “witches” who spread the disease. Each time they set foot in villages, the terrified villagers flee to nearby places, spreading the ebola further.

When Mr. Moosa and health workers returned to the area to warn locals, villagers threw rocks at their vehicles, shattering windshields of two cars, he said. Fresh rumors had surfaced of an invisible plane full of witches that had crashed in the area, allowing a deadly disease to seep from the wreckage. Parents and grandparents fled with sick children to other villages, spreading the contagion.

In the end, more will come to the US for treatment as centers carefully package up blood samples for the big pharma vaccine research, a holy grail for the industry worth hundreds of billions.