News / Health

Liberia Works to Contain New Ebola Outbreak Amid Renewed Fear

Jennifer Lazuta
Health officials in Liberia's capital say that at least seven more people are believed to have died from the Ebola virus.  These are the first reported deaths in Monrovia and the first new cases in the country in more than two months.  The deaths have sparked fear the outbreak is no longer under control as authorities previously said. 

Liberia’s Ministry of Health says the deadly Ebola virus has again made its way to the country.

Local officials say that seven people living in Monrovia have died from Ebola during the past several days, including a nurse and an infant child.  Two of those cases have been confirmed.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says there have also been six new suspected cases in the Foya district, in the north of the country.

These are the first reported cases of Ebola in Liberia since early April.

Looking for causes

The assistant minister for preventive services at the health ministry, Tolbert Nyensuah, explained the likely cause of the outbreak.

“The case that spread this disease to the rest of the people in Monrovia, that case was supposedly from Sierra Leone," he said.  "There was a lady that came from Sierra Leone, through Foya, and got ill in Monrovia.  Our surveillance team picked up this information, that people in a household were dying suddenly with unexplained deaths.”

The Ebola outbreak, which began in Guinea in February, made its way to neighboring Sierra Leone last month.

The WHO said Wednesday that 337 people across West Africa have died of the disease, including 24 in Liberia, 49 in Sierra Leone, and 264 in Guinea.

Monrovian resident, Leviticus Kollie, says these new cases in Liberia are worrying.

“A few weeks ago, a few months ago, we were told that Ebola was no longer around.  Coming back for the second time, it [scares] everyone… We are hoping that that the Ministry of Health will do all it can to put the situation under control.  I’m not prepared to die now. I’m not ready, I don’t want to die,” said Kollie.

National task force

To help contain the current outbreak, Liberia’s Ministry of Health says they have reactivated the national task force for Ebola and are holding daily meetings with partner organizations, such as the Liberian National Red Cross and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to design strategies to deal with the resurgence.

More than 60 volunteers were also trained this week to act as surveillance teams in local communities. The country’s isolation unit has been reopened to deal with any suspected Ebola cases.

The Ministry’s Nyensuah said the most important thing now is for people to stay calm.

“The epidemiology of this disease is that it is not an airborne disease.  It is a disease that occurs with very, very close contact," he said. "Contact with family members who are ill; contact with health care workers.  And so there is no reason for the public to be panicked.”

Nyensuah said Liberians should, however, avoid all contact with anyone who is suspected of having contracted Ebola, as the virus is spread via bodily fluids, such as the sweat, blood and saliva, of an infected person - living or dead. 

Prince Collins contributed to this report from Monrovia.

You May Like

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid