30 June 2014

Liberia: Ebola Death Toll Rises

Photo: Boakai Fofana/AllAfrica
Redemption Hospital signboard in New Kru Town where a nurse reportedly died from the deadly Ebola virus.

The death toll from the Ebola virus in Liberia continues to rise with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare confirming that the Ebola situation in the country is worsening.

The Assistant Minister for Preventive Services at the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Tolbert Nyenswah, has announced that in less than one month the virus has increased from May 29, 2014 to June 25, 2014.

The disease, which originated from a river in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1976, recently entered Liberia from neighboring Guinea and Sierra Leone.

Health authorities had announced probable and confirmed cases of 61 persons with 35 deaths confirmed - 21 in Lofa; 13 in Montserrado, and 1 in Margibi Counties.

Speaking at the Ministry of Information's regular press briefing on Thursday, Minister Nyenswah disclosed one newly confirmed case from Margibi. He detailed that the outbreak originated from Lofa to Margibi and it has now reached Montserrado, cautioning that it could spread anywhere in Liberia.

The Assistant Minister has seriously warned citizens to stop taking Ebola patients to spiritual homes for prayer, disclosing that a Prayer Mother recently died of Ebola while trying to spiritually heal an Ebola patient in Duala, on Bushrod Island.

He said the virus has reached the New Kru Town Epi Center, including St. Paul Bridge and Caldwell Township, where a proprietor of a private clinic named Tandapolie Clinic also died of Ebola. According to Nyenswah, at least three cases have been reported from the Tandapolie Clinic in Caldwell. The World Health Organization Country Representative to Liberia, Dr Nestor Ndayimirije, said the incubation period for the deadly Ebola disease is 2 to 21 days, stressing that the disease can be prevented by isolating patients, warning the public to take the disease very seriously.

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