ebola liberia
A crowd enters the grounds of an Ebola isolation centre in the West Point slumJohn Moore/Getty Images

Liberian officials have confirmed all 17 suspected Ebola patients who fled a quarantine centre in Monrovia at the weekend have been found.

Information Minister Lewis Brown said on Tuesday that the last 17 people who were missing have now turned themselves in at the John F Kennedy Memorial Medical Center in the capital.

The patients were being screened for Ebola when looters ransacked the holding facility in the West Point township on Saturday night.

"They were traced and finally they turned themselves in at the JFK hospital," Brown told The Associated Press.

There are conflicting reports over what sparked the riot, in which medical supplies were also stolen.

Officials said the protesters were unhappy that patients were being transported to the facility from other parts of the capital. Other reports suggest the riots were caused by those who believe Ebola is a hoax and wanted the centre to close.

The incident raised fears that the deadly virus could spread into the densely populated slum around it.

During the looting, residents of the West Point slum stole bloodied sheets and mattresses, which could spread the disease further. The items have not yet been recovered.

The latest setback in the fight to control the epidemic, authorities have had difficulties in persuading those infected to seek treatment and relatives have taken family members away from health centres. According to the Guardian, health workers have been attacked.

The World Health Organisation has said the outbreak has killed over 1,200 people since it began in December 2013, with over 2,200 cases of the virus. It is the deadliest outbreak of Ebola since it was discovered four decades ago in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Quarantines have been placed in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Guinea, along with travel restrictions. Entire villages have been shut off in attempts to control the virus, which the WHO says is limiting access to food and other basic essentials.

Meanwhile, Brown said three infected African doctors who had received the experimental Ebola drug ZMapp were showing "remarkable signs of improvement", quoting a doctor overseeing their treatment.