Ebola bounces back

Less than three months after Liberia was declared free of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), at least three new cases of the virus have been confirmed in the country.

A 10-year-old boy is among the three confirmed Ebola patients, according to Liberian health authorities.

Speaking over the weekend at the Ministry of Health in Congo Town, the Minister of Health, Dr. Bernice Dahn said all those who came in contact with the patients have been isolated.

The Health Minister said her Ministry is working with the Montserrado County Health Team and partners to investigate the matter aimed at isolating those suspected of the virus and to limit its effects in the country.

“At this time we are still gathering information to identify possible contacts to ensure all individuals are notified and if necessary, receive care,” she added.

Minister Dahn however, urged Liberians to remain hopeful in defeating the Ebola virus by practicing its preventive measures such as hands washing, among others.

The Minister also called on the public to report new suspected cases of the virus in the country.

She said the involvement of the public in information dissemination on the outbreak will help contain the spread of the virus in other communities.

Dr. Dahn cautioned the public not to be panic in the wake of the resurgence of the Ebola virus which has killed nearly 5,000 Liberia during its previous outbreak in the country.

She said the Ebola confirmed patients and other “high-risk contacts” have been taken to an Ebola Treatment Unit (ETU) in Paynesville.
Liberia has seen more than 10,000 Ebola cases and more than 4,000 deaths.

Before the new case emerged on Thursday night, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf delivered a speech praising, "the resilience" of Liberians in overcoming the epidemic.

The country was first declared Ebola-free on May 9, 201, but new cases emerged in June resulting to two deaths. It was declared free of the virus again on September 3, this year.

Liberia recorded its first Ebola case in March of 2014. Health analysts believe the latest cases are a serious set-back for the country.

The new cases in Liberia were announced just days after Guinea, where the epidemic started, said it had no more Ebola cases.

If no more cases are detected for 42 days in neighboring Guinea, the country would be declared free of the virus by the world health organization.

Sierra Leone was declared free of Ebola on November 7, 2015.
More than 11,000 people have so far died of the disease in West Africa since December 2013, the vast majority of them in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

It is not clear what led to the latest Ebola outbreak in Liberia.

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