… But Gov’t Rules Out Ebola
By Jimmey C. Fahngon
Barely two days after it was reported that seven persons died from ‘strange disease,’ in Sinoe County, the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Health has confirmed the death of nine persons.
Addressing a press briefing Tuesday at the Ministry of Information in Monrovia, Liberia’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Francis Kateh said the nine persons died in five communities in Greenville, Sinoe County.
However, he said initial tests conducted at the Liberia Institute for Bio-Medical Research in Charlesville, Margibi County, ruled out Ebola Virus Disease as the cause of deaths.
The Deputy Health Minister told journalists that 17 persons have been affected from the strange disease, of which nine have died.
He said the other eight are currently undergoing treatment at the Grant Hospital in Greenville.
Dr. Kateh said the government is yet to establish the cause of death, but said investigation is continuing to know the actual cause.
He said the Sinoe County Health Team and local authorities are currently coordinating the response activities, while a team from Monrovia has been dispatched to provide additional support.
Dr. Kateh assured that the Liberian government has put in place necessary measures to contain any outbreak of infectious disease.
On Tuesday, the death of seven persons was reported from Sinoe County due to strange disease. This information was later confirmed by the Health Ministry spokesman Sorbor George.
According to George, blood specimen from the deceased was sent to the Firestone Hospital in Harbel, Margibi County, for testing to ascertain the cause of death.
George also disclosed that an emergency meeting of health officials was called to discuss the strange deaths.
According to a local radio correspondent from Greenville, the victims suffered from stomach pain before succumbing to death.
The reporter also said health authorities in the county have isolated all those who came in contact with the dead persons.
In 2014, Liberia was struck by the Ebola Virus Disease that claimed an estimated 4,500 lives in Liberia and more than 10,500 lives in the three hardest hit countries of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.