Bong County, which borders Guinea to the northeast, is one district in Ebola-stricken Liberia where new Ebola cases are being reported in significant numbers outside Monrovia, according to World Health Organization data.
Now it is being reported that more than two dozen children have been affected by the disfiguring bacterial disease, buruli ulcer.
Bong County health officer, Dr Azoakoi expressed concern over the outbreak, where children are very vulnerable, that started some weeks ago saying, “Let me make this vivid to you: patients who are not treated initially suffer long-term functional disability.”
Azoakoi said that if nothing is done to contain the disease, the likelihood of many children in the community being direct victims is eminent. According to him, some of the children of one parent have refused to eat with their siblings who are suffering from the disease for fear of also becoming infected.
Buruli ulcer is an ulcerative skin disease caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium ulcerans, which belongs to the same family of organisms that cause leprosy and tuberculosis.
Buruli ulcer has been reported in over 30 countries, but only half of these countries regularly report data to WHO. Most people affected are children under 15 years of age who live in poor rural communities.
It often starts as painless nodules, usually on the arms and legs. These then develop into large ulcers with a whitish-yellow base. Buruli ulcer can be cured with early detection and a combination of antibiotics. But, if poorly managed, the condition can lead to permanent disfigurement and disability. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page