22 March 2016

Liberia Closes Borders As Ebola Resurfaces in Guinea

Photo: Ebola Deeply
Mourning the dead: Liberia is the country hardest hit by the most recent outbreak.

Liberia's borders with neighboring Guinea have, again, been ordered closed with immediate effect. The Government of Liberia, through its Minister of Information, Lenn Eugene Nagbe, said the borders will remain closed until the current outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in Guinea is dealt with by the authorities there.

Minister Nagbe told an UNMIL Radio interview Monday morning that the Liberian Government has already dispatched medical personnel and kits and Ebola prevention materials to the entire Liberian borders with Guinea.

Minister Nagbe's interview follows excepts from Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization or boss Lemuel Reeves ordering all borders closed as BIN officers remain vigilant. Crossing point in Nimba that are bordering Guinea have also been ordered closed.

A recent outbreak of Ebola has already killed four people in Guinea since February 29. The latest outbreak has been reported from villages in Korokpara - 100km from the Ebola treatment center in Nzerekore.

But the World Health Organization or WHO is quoted by the BBC as saying that it is unlikely that a pandemic will occur again, as the country's health department was prepared this time to deal with the virus.

The fourth person to die in the latest Ebola virus outbreak in Guinea was a girl. "The young girl, who was hospitalized at the Ebola treatment center in Nzerekore is dead," Reuters quoted Fode Tass Sylla, spokesman for the center that coordinates Guinea's fight against the virus, as saying.

"We have to be very careful, because even if open transmission has been stopped, the disease has not been totally defeated," AFP news agency had quoted Alpha Seny Souhmah, a Guinean health worker and Ebola survivor, as saying.

The WHO has cautioned authorities in Guinea against complacency, according to Reuters, as Ebola can stage comebacks. About 2,500 people in Guinea and another 9,000 in Liberia and Sierra Leone died in the outbreak.

Some new cases of the disease have been reported from Liberia since September. Liberia and Sierra Leone were declared clear of Ebola in September and November 2015 respectively. The virus can remain active in the eyes, body fluids and central nervous system of people who survive infections.

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