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Liberia's president says anyone caught hiding suspected Ebola patients will be prosecuted.

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf issued the warning on state radio on Monday, expressing concern that some patients had been kept in homes and churches instead of receiving medical attention.

"Let this warning go out: Anyone found or reported to be holding suspected Ebola cases in homes or prayer houses can be prosecuted under the law of Liberia," Sirleaf said.

Sierra Leone issued a similar warning last week, saying some patients had discharged themselves from hospital and gone into hiding.

Health workers elsewhere in the region have encountered hostility and some have even been attacked.

Liberia's health ministry said on Monday that the country had recorded 49 deaths caused by Ebola, 26 of which were confirmed by laboratory tests.

The outbreak in West Africa is already the deadliest on record, killing 367 people according to the latest World Health Organisation numbers.

Most deaths have been in Guinea where cases were first reported.

Source: Agencies