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Liberia’s Top Medical Officer under Self-Imposed Ebola Quarantine

  • James Butty

Health workers carry buckets of disinfectant at the newly-constructed Island Clinic and Ebola treatment center in Monrovia, Liberia, September 25, 2014.

Health workers carry buckets of disinfectant at the newly-constructed Island Clinic and Ebola treatment center in Monrovia, Liberia, September 25, 2014.

Liberia said its chief medical officer Bernice Dahn, who has been leading the fight against Ebola, does not have the deadly virus.

But, Minister of Information Lewis Brown said, Dahn placed herself in quarantine after her special assistant died Thursday.

Brown said that while the government did not wish this to happen, he hopes every Liberian will emulate the example of Dahn.

“This is what Dr. Dahn has been helping us say to the people of Liberia. When you come in contact with the virus or you know someone who has come in contact with the virus, the safest thing for to do for the people you love and for yourself is to set yourself apart from everyone and observe the symptoms. Let that transmission end with you, hopefully, and then we can give you the help you need so that you don’t pass on to the people you love,” he said.

Brown said he spoke by phone with Dahn and she sounded well. He said she reassured all Liberians that she’s doing well under the circumstances.

He admitted there has been a shortage of beds at Ebola treatment centers to cope with the increasing number of patients.

“What is happening now, given the increased level of public awareness, [is] we are having more and more people turning themselves in at medical facilities. We still continue to confront the situation of shortages of beds. We must continue to ensure that we can increase treatment facilities,” Brown said.

Brown welcomed the opening of two Ebola treatment centers around the country, including a 70-bed center built by Save the Children in Bong County.

He said the government has challenged itself to complete another treatment center in southeastern Liberia.

“The closer we can bring treatment facilities to communities and to homes, the sooner we believe we can get a grip on this disease,” he said.

The World Health Organization said Liberia is the country worst affected by the Ebola crisis, with over 3,360 people who’ve been infected, of whom over half, nearly 1,770, have died.

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