The Government of Liberia, through the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, reports a fresh outbreak of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease in Liberia. A 38-year old man from Wondu town, Lofa County, was laboratory confirmed on June 6, 2014. The man fell sick after travelling to
Bundu town, Kailahun District, Sierra Leone, to attend the funeral of his mother who died in, Bundu, Kailahun District. Upon his return to Liberia, specimens were collected after he showed signs and symptoms of the Ebola Virus. Our health team with the support of partners have isolated the patient in the isolation center in Foyah for health care and to prevent the spread of the virus.

Liberia map/CIA
Liberia map/CIA

Contact tracing is ongoing to ensure that those who came in contact with the patient are also located and closely observed for signs and symptoms of the disease. Our field team is also meeting with chiefs, traditional, religious, and community leaders for their involvement in locating “contacts” and following instructions from health workers to reduce the spread of the virus.

The Ebola Virus Disease has claimed in the bordering countries 7 lives in Sierra Leone out of 44 cumulative cases as of June 6 including 33 confirmed Ebola cases all from the Kailahun District, Sierra Leone while Ebola claimed lives of 220 people who died in Guinea out of 344 cumulative cases as of 4th June 2014. Among the deaths in Guinea, 144 died in Guekedu out of 220 cumulative Ebola deaths. New cases are still being reported especially from Kailahun and Guekedu, respectively.

Prior to this fresh outbreak the last case in Liberia was reported on 9th April 2014. Today the cumulative total number of cases is 14 including 10 deaths.

Meanwhile, the MOHSW is urging the public, especially community religious and leaders, to ensure that individuals who die of Ebola or suspected of dying of Ebola are immediately buried under the supervision of health workers to ensure safe burial. Family members and traditional leaders are strongly advised to work with health teams to avoid dead bodies and their body fluids and prevent spreading of Ebola and deaths of member of communities.

The public is also urged to wash their hands with soap and water or use sanitizer, ashes, avoid eating bush meat (monkeys, fruit bats), and to chlorinate their water before drinking as a way of preventing the spread of the Ebola Virus which has no cure.