20 August 2014

Liberia: Ebola Hits Bassa Second Populous District - One Confirmed, Six Suspected

The Town has just a public clinic which has fewer than 10 nurses who have said their lives are at risk

Wee District, Grand Bassa County - One person has been confirmed an Ebola patient in District Three (Wee Statutory District), with six others who came in direct contact with the patient being tracked by the Grand Bassa County Ebola Task Force.

District authorities confirmed the presence of the virus in the densely populated community of Compound Three, a settlement with over 25,000 people, as denying that the deadly virus doesn't exist still lingers amongst many residents in the area.

Sources say, the patient, a woman, arrived in the district a week ago from Dolo Town, Margibi County and felt very ill before her relatives opted to take her to a nearby town where an herbalist's healing failed to recuperate her.

But when the family resolved to take her to the only public clinic in the district's main town, her specimen was then sent to the Ebola Lab in Charlesville and proved positive.

The District Superintendent, Abel Nyounboul, told reporters that the county Ebola Task Force is expected to transport the patient to the treatment center soon. The presence of one confirmed case and approximately six probable cases in the densely populated town, have left residents to start calling on the Ebola Task Force to track all those who came in contact with the patient.

As difficult as it appears especially in the absence of resources, the District Superintendent said contact tracing of the six persons is on already. "We have directed the district commissioner and begin to enlist all other we think interacted with her specifically her aunt and uncle who were catering to her before she was tested positive," he said.

A day before the confirmation that the virus has hit the district, Hon. Jeh Byron Brown said he was leading an initiative to set up the District's Ebola Task Force, which he said will include over 150 persons from various sectors of the communities.

"I have made an initial LD$10, 000.00 to the Task Force, which will be used to open an account and we are to carry out a fundraising drive to funds to help prevent and contain the deadly virus," Hon. Brown said.

The Grand Bassa lawmaker recently cautioned his constituents against allowing people from outside the district to come in for business purposes, thereby proposing that a ban should be placed at the crossing of canoes from district one into District three. And the District Superintendent revealed that his administration will impose several measures to limit the gathering of people in crowds.

"We will try to inform and educate our people so they can know that strangers will not be held within the district for now," Mr. Nyounbol Said. "We have even asked the local marketing association to close all special market days."

The news of the first case in Grand Bassa second most populated district comes as information of over 20 deaths in Gbaplee Town, (District One) Grand Bassa County is yet to be confirmed by health Authority in the county that it was a result of the deadly virus. Sources said those who died, fled an area in Margibi County, where the virus had earlier hit and caused many deaths.

Deputy Speaker, Hans Barchue who is also the direct representative of District One recently called on the National Ebola Task Force to be 'more responsible in handling dead bodies' after the bodies of those who died had stayed in the town for days.

Meanwhile, there are unconfirmed reports that one of the three nurses who were recently quarantined after they came in contact with a man who died of Ebola virus has died while the other two have been declared negative and released.


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