21 June 2014

Liberia: Ebola Now Claims 16 Lives

The Ministry of Health & Social Welfare has disclosed that the outbreak of the deadly Ebola epidemic is still active in the country and called on Liberians to take preventive measures in curtailing further spread of the virus.

Addressing the regular press briefing of the Ministry of Information in Monrovia yesterday, Assistant Minister for Preventive Services at the Ministry of Health & Social Welfare, Tolbert Nyenswah, disclosed that two new cases of Ebola have been discovered in Foya, Lofa County.

Mr. Nyenswah said after 42 days without confirmed new cases of the virus in Liberia, the second phase of the Ebola virus was reported in Lofa on May 30, 2014. Minister Nyenswah further disclosed that on June 9, 10 and 11; the virus claimed the lives of seven persons in Monrovia with four confirmed cases.

Giving an update on the Ebola virus in the three neighboring countries of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, Assistant Minister Nyenswah said presently there are 398 cases in Guinea with 254 deaths, while Sierra Leone has reported 97 cases with 49 deaths and 97 confirmed cases with Liberia recording 97 cases and 23 deaths.

He said up to yesterday, two new cases have been discovered from Foya and the specimens have been sent to Guinea for testing. He said Liberia has recorded 26 cases of Ebola with 16 deaths and twelve confirmed cases with eight deaths of confirmed cases since the second outbreak of the deadly epidemic in the country.

The Health Ministry official said to date; no new case has been discovered in Montserrado but that the virus is active in the country. He said there are available equipment to contain the spread of the Ebola virus and called on those within the borders of Liberia to take preventive measures.

Nyenswah added that the Ministry of Health is receiving supplies from its partners to fight the virus but added that the major challenge harming the fight against the Ebola virus is denial, myth and religious belief that the disease can't be cured.

Recently, the BBC quoted WHO that the number of people killed by the deadly Ebola virus in West Africa has risen to 337. It said fourteen deaths and 47 new cases were reported across the region over the past week. Guinea is worst affected with 264 Ebola-related deaths. In Sierra Leone, there have been 49 deaths and in Liberia, 24, the WHO disclosed.

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