FrontPageAfrica (Monrovia)

Liberia: Deadly Ebola Bounces Back in Liberia - 10 Unconfirmed Deaths

Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Scanning microscopic image of Ebola virus.

Monrovia — Barely a week after Liberia's Chief Medical Officer acknowledged the vulnerability of Liberia to the deadly Ebola virus that has already killed over 200 persons in the Mano River Union region, with six Liberian causalities another possible outbreak of the virus has been reported in several parts of Liberia including the capital Monrovia.

Dr. Bernice Dahn told a news conference recently at the Ministry of Information that Liberia remains exposed to the Ebola virus due to its cross border activities with affected neighboring countries like Guinea and Sierra Leone where the virus continues to spread and killing several persons.

Unconfirmed reports gathered by FrontPageAfrica suggest that at least six persons at the Redemption Hospital in New Kru town, including a nurse have died as a result of the virus. Four other deaths have also been reported in Foya, Lofa County where the virus killed few persons, including health workers during the initial outbreak a few months back.

Liberia has had no new cases of Ebola since May 2014 until the recent outbreak in neighboring Sierra Leone, which prompted an emergency Steering Committee meeting among members of the Mano River Union region.

Liberia's Chief Medical officer Dr. Bernice Dahn, told FrontPageAfrica Sunday that the ministry of health has tested six specimens, four positive and the remaining two still confirmed as cases of the deadly virus. But she fell short of the actual medical centers where they occurred. Dr. Dahn could not confirm new cases reported out of Monrovia.

Ebola, a haemorrhagic fever with a fatality rate of up to 90 percent, is believed to have killed over 200 people in neighbouring Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia since March in the first deadly appearance of the disease in West Africa. Previously, several suspected cases of Ebola were recorded in Sierra Leone early on in the West African outbreak, but they later tested negative for the disease.

In a statement posted on its website, the WHO said the outbreak in Sierra Leone was located in an area along the country's border with Guinea's Guéckédou prefecture, where some of the earliest cases of the disease were recorded. "Preliminary information received from the field indicates that one laboratory-confirmed case and five community deaths have been reported from Koindu chiefdom," it said.

As of June, 19 deaths have been reported in Sierra Leone from the virus.

The WHO in early June said it was deploying six experts to the area along with essential supplies. The West African outbreak spread from a remote corner of Guinea to the capital, Conakry, and into Liberia, causing panic across a region struggling with weak healthcare systems and porous borders. A total of 258 clinical cases have been recorded in Guinea since the outbreak was first identified as Ebola, including 174 deaths - 95 confirmed, 57 probable and 57 suspected - according to the WHO.

No new cases of Ebola have been detected since April 26 in Conakry, where an outbreak could pose the biggest threat of an epidemic due to the city's role as an international travel hub. First discovered in DR Congo and Sudan in 1976, several outbreaks of this viral haemorrhagic fever have been reported in East and Central Africa, but not in West Africa.

Guinea is one of the least developed countries, periodically hit by epidemics such as meningitis, yellow fever and especially cholera. On 22 March the Guinean Government revealed that Institute Pasteur in France had identified the Ebola filovirus in samples of cases initially associated with Lassa fever. The highly contagious, human to human transmission of Ebola occurs by simple contact with blood and body fluids. No vaccine or treatment is yet available for this pathogen, one of the world's most lethal with a case fatality rate of up to 90% depending on the strain.

Center for Disease Control update

Outbreak of Ebola in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone

Guinea at a Glance:

Suspected and Confirmed Case Count: 376

Suspected Case Deaths: 241

Laboratory Confirmed Cases: 233

Liberia at a Glance:

Suspected and Confirmed Case Count: 13

Suspected Case Deaths: 9

Laboratory Confirmed Cases: 6

Sierra Leone at a Glance:

Suspected and Confirmed Case Count: 160

Suspected Case Deaths: 19

Laboratory Confirmed Cases: 43

Highlights

As of June 10, 2014, the Guinea Ministry of Health announced a total of 376 suspect and confirmed cases of Ebola hemorrhagic fever (EHF), including 241 fatal cases, in the districts of Conakry, Guéckédou, Macenta, Kissidougou, Dabola, Djingaraye, Télimélé, Boffa, and Kouroussa.

233 cases across Guinea have been confirmed by laboratory testing to be positive for Ebola virus infection.

In Conakry, 75 suspect cases are reported to meet the clinical definition for EHF, including 32 fatal cases.

June 9, 2014, the Ministry of Health and Sanitation of Sierra Leone reported 43 laboratory confirmed cases of EHF from 3 districts: Kailahun, Kambia, and Port Loko.

An additional 117 suspect cases and 19 fatal cases were also reported in Sierra Leone on June 9.

The Ministry of Health of Liberia reported 1 new laboratory confirmed case and one death on June 7, 2014. This is the first case reported since early April.

Genetic analysis of the virus indicates that it is closely related (97% identical) to variants of Ebola virus (species Zaire ebolavirus) identified earlier in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Gabon (Baize et al. 2014).

The Guinean Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Health and Sanitation of Sierra Leone, and the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of Liberia are working with national and international partners to investigate and respond to the outbreak.

Outbreak Update

June 11, 2014

On June 10, 2014, The Ministry of Health (MoH) of Guinea reported 376 suspect and confirmed cases of Ebola hemorrhagic fever (EHF), including 241 fatal cases and 233 laboratory confirmed cases. New cases were reported in Gueckedou, Telimele, and Boffa districts and follow-up investigations continue in Conakry, Boke, and Dubreka districts in the west, and Macenta, and Kouroussa districts in the south.

The Ministry of Health and Sanitation of Sierra Leone reported 117 suspect cases, 19 fatal cases, and 43 laboratory confirmed cases on June 9, 2014. Confirmed cases have been reported from the Kailahun district, near Gueckedou, Guinea, and for the first time in Kambia and Port Loko districts in northwest Sierra Leone. Reports of and investigations of suspect cases continue in Kailahun, Kenema, Kono, Bo, Moyamba , Kambia, Koinadugu, Port Loko, Tonkolili, Bombali, and Western area districts. Laboratory testing is being conducted in Kenema city. Sierra Leone and WHO have sent experts to aid in the response and investigation.

On June 7, 2014, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of Liberia reported 1 laboratory confirmed EHF case and 1 new death in the Foya District of Liberia. This is the first reported case since April 6, 2014.

CDC is in regular communication with its international partners, WHO, and MSF regarding the outbreak.

Based on reports from the Ministry of Heath of Guinea, the Ministry of Health and Sanitation of Sierra Leone, and the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of Liberia.

Outbreak Update

June 10, 2014

The Ministry of Health (MoH) of Guinea reported 372 suspect and confirmed cases of Ebola hemorrhagic fever on June 8, 2014 (EHF). This includes 236 fatal cases and 219 laboratory confirmed cases. For the first time, the district Kouroussa reported 1 laboratory confirmed case. Reports of cases and follow-up investigations continue in the Conakry, Télimélé, Boffa, Boke, and Dubreka districts in the west, and the Guéckédou, Macenta, and now Kouroussa districts in the south.

The Ministry of Health and Sanitation of Sierra Leone reported 8 new cases (2 confirmed) and one new death of EHF on June 6, 2014 bringing the total number of clinical EHF cases to 89. This includes 33 laboratory confirmed cases and 7 deaths. All confirmed cases have been reported from the Kailahun district, which neighbors the current EHF hotspot in Guekedou, Guinea. Investigations of suspect cases continue in Kailahun, Kenema, Koinadugu, Bo, Moyamba, Bombali, Western area urban, and Port Loko districts. Laboratory testing is being conducted in Kenema. Sierra Leone and WHO has sent experts to aid in the response and investigation.

On June 7, 2014, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of Liberia reported 1 laboratory confirmed EHF case and 1 new death in the Foya District of Liberia. This is the first reported case since April 6, 2014.

CDC is in regular communication with its international partners, WHO, and MSF regarding the outbreak.

Based on reports from the Ministry of Heath of Guinea, the Ministry of Health and Sanitation of Sierra Leone, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of Liberia, and WHO.

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