ESSEX, Md. - Liberians who live in Maryland are collecting supplies to send back to their homeland to try and stop the largest Ebola outbreak in history.
Since the outbreak started earlier this year, more than 900 people have died in three West African countries: Guinea, Sierre Leone, and Liberia.
"There is a saying that when your neighbor's house is on fire you want to help put it out because it could spill over to your house," said Ezax Smith, of the Liberian Association of Maryland.
His group collected supplies on Sunday in Baltimore County.
"The fight against Ebola is a war against an enemy we cannot see," Smith said. "The sooner we can attack it the better it's going to be for Liberia and the rest of Africa and of course the world."
Workers have been attacking with common household items like bleach, peroxide and latex gloves. It may not sound like a fair fight against a virus that causes uncontrollable bleeding, and kills more than 60% of the people who contract it.
But health care workers in Africa have been among the most commonly-affected victims of the current outbreak of Ebola.
Last week the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told Congress that traditional outbreak control is what's needed in West Africa.
"One patient not isolated. one patient not diagnosed. one health care worker not protected. one contact not traced. each of these lapses can result in another chain of transmission and another flare of the outbreak," CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden said.
He also said the current outbreak is on pace to affect more people than every other Ebola outbreak combined.
The local group is collecting latex gloves, medical gowns, and masks along with bleach and hand sanitizer.
"Whether you're Liberian, American, Jamaican or African we need to take this very seriously," Smith said. "Ebola has the propensity to become a worldwide epidemic and so if we don't work together to curtail it at this time, we may have to do much more damage control."
For more information about the group’s effort visit http://mdlib.com