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Liberia’s President: New Ebola Cases Disturbing

  • Mariama Diallo

Health workers leave after they took a blood samples from a child to test for the Ebola virus in an area were a 17-year-old boy died from the virus on the outskirts of Monrovia, Liberia, June 30, 2015.

Health workers leave after they took a blood samples from a child to test for the Ebola virus in an area were a 17-year-old boy died from the virus on the outskirts of Monrovia, Liberia, June 30, 2015.

Liberia confirmed two mores case of Ebola, a few days after a young boy died from the virus. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf says while this is very disturbing, she is confident the country has it under control.

Sirleaf told a group of reporters on Wednesday that health officials are trying to get to the source of the newest Ebola cases in her country.

“It's very disturbing for us. I don't know all the details; but, I am very confident that our incident management system has the capability to contain this to isolate this and to keep it where it is so it doesn't go any further,” said Sirleaf.

Festus Tarpar, information officer for Margibi County where the first victim died, gave details of the virus’ reappearance.

“At the deceased’s residence, there were also three other individuals who were sick and the health team quickly came and took their samples. Results from the laboratory show that there are two confirmed new Ebola cases. One is still indeterminate,” he said.

Tarpar told VOA that massive work to minimize damage has been done since last Sunday.

“The family members as I speak to you have a total of 100 plus contacts that have been established, 55 of whom are primary contacts," he said. "So there is an active case search and finding contact tracing going on in the Unification town of Nendonwein areas.”

Deputy Health Minister Tolbert Nyensuah said he was confident in the government’s ability to handle the situation.

“We are not frustrated, we are only disappointed…. Our anticipation was we would have maintained our clean sheet," he said. "In terms of capacity and energy, we have the energy and we have the capacity.”

Nyensuah also refuted claims that the first victim is from Guinea, a country still battling the outbreak.

“We don’t have the information whether or not this case came from Guinea… What I do know is… it’s a 17-year-old male," he said. "Lives in the Nendonwein community near the village of ‘Smell-No-Taste.… He's a student. He was going to school. He’s a Liberian and not a Guinean.”

In its latest outbreak, Ebola has killed more than 11,200 people. Close to 5,000 of them were Liberians.

Prince Collins contributed to this report.

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