The Liberian government has announced that it has just two remaining cases of Ebola in the country, indicating that it is close to zero case and the total eradication of the deadly virus from Liberia.
Making the disclosure over the weekend at the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism on Capitol Hill, Deputy Minister Isaac Jackson said Montserrado County had maintained seven consecutive days without any new Ebola case, while Liberia is accounting for 16 suspected cases, describing this as further progress for the country.
“Liberia [has made] strong progress in the fight against the deadly Ebola virus because communities have been very robust in ensuring that this disease is contained,” Isaac Jackson declared.
He continued: “The two confirmed Ebola cases are in Montserrado County, including most of the suspected cases. The issue of contact tracing is also in Montserrado and Cape Mount, which the Incident Management System and partners continue to work on,” Mr. Jackson added.
He further disclosed that Grand Cape Mount County, which was recently hit again by the Ebola virus, has not reported a single case for the past 43 days.
According to Minister Jackson, Liberia is in search of 116 contacts in the entire country.
Meanwhile, the head of the Incident Management System (IMS), Mr. Tolbert Nyenswah, has assured the government that the people of Liberia will soon be Ebola-free, considering the positive update throughout the country.
Dr. Jerry Brown, who is Co-principal Coordinator of the Ebola trial vaccines, has disclosed that the clinical trial of the Zmapp vaccine in Liberia has begun with 1,000 persons targeted.
“A full-scale clinical trial of the experimental Ebola drug Zmapp commenced at the ELWA-II Ebola Treatment Unit (ETU) in Monrovia Friday,” said Dr. Brown, adding that the process is a partnership between the Liberian government and the U.S. National Institutes of Health to find a cure for the Ebola virus.
Brown explained that the trial is intended to find a perfect cure for Ebola, as well as authenticate whether, if administered alone, the Zmapp drug can heal an Ebola patient.
He recounted that during the height of the Ebola crisis, nine persons worldwide received emergency doses of the drug and six of them survived.
Dr. Brown, who is also the lead doctor at the ELWA ETU-II, pointed out that people who test negative for the Ebola virus or those who have taken an Ebola trial vaccine and experimental anti-Ebola drugs, will not be eligible for the Zmapp trial.
Finding a cure for the Ebola virus remains a cardinal concern of Liberians and the world at large and as such the clinical trial will be done professionally and in accordance with internationally accepted standards, Dr. Brown assured.
“Only a person confirmed to be infected with the Ebola virus is qualified to take part in the trial of Zmapp. The first trial test was under emergency and cannot be counted due to other supportive drugs or medicines that were also given along with a Zmapp to Ebola patients,” he explained.
Dr. Brown said if Liberia cannot get the targeted number of one thousand persons for the Zmapp trial vaccine, it will be extended to Guinea and Sierra Leone to help ensure that Ebola has a vaccine.