Seven weeks after being declared Ebola-free, Liberia has found a second case of the deadly disease, sparking fears that the country could find itself back in the middle of an epidemic if precautions are not put in place.
Liberia’s information ministry today tweeted that tests have confirmed Ebola infections in two people from the boy’s home. The team is capable of quickly identifying, isolating, treating and tracking every person who was in contact with the victim and stopping the further spread of Ebola.
Nyenswah said health officials were monitoring 175 people believed to have come into contact with the three cases, though none had yet exhibited symptoms of the disease.
The body of a 17-year-old boy from a rural area outside of Monrovia tested positive for the virus on Sunday.
The people who have been in contact with the boy and are at risk of spreading the virus have already been isolated, according to health officials.
Abbas Dulleh /AP Health workers carry a body of a person that they suspected died form the Ebola virus at a new graveyard on the outskirts of Monrovia, Liberia, in March. The organization chose to declare them Ebola free after 42 days without a new case.
The re-emergence of EVD transmission in countries where intense, widespread transmission has occurred and subsequently declined remains possible as a result of new transmission from the animal reservoir or reintroduction through the importation of an infectious case.
The question must be asked whether, by focusing too much on post-Ebola recovery in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone and the billions of dollars this could attract, everyone has taken their eyes off the ball.
Nevertheless, there is no doubt that when Ebola first appeared, a combination of official inexperience and the fearful flight of people from locations where there were victims made the containment of the virus extremely hard. In 2014, a single case of Ebola from neighboring Guinea led to the catastrophe that rocked the country killing more than 4,000 people.
An investigation is also under way to determine how the boy was infected.
“This should have been expected because as long as there is Ebola in the region no one country can be safe”.
“Our surveillance at airports is also being maintained but we have been selective”. A case in point: on Tuesday, government health workers were trying to administer the polio vaccine in communities in Nimba province, as part of a nation-wide vaccination drive.
There are now no indications that the case was imported from a neighbouring country and Margibi County is far from the epidemic’s remaining hotspots.
This is contained in a statement signed by Ayotunde Adesugba, Director Press and Public Relations, Federal Ministry of Health in Abuja on Tuesday.