The Daily Observer has been reliably learned from a credible source that one patient was on Tuesday, March 25, quarantined at the JFK Medical Center in Sinkor, Monrovia, after health practitioners noticed symptoms of the Ebola virus.
Our source, who asked not to be named, said the patient had come from one of those regions in Lofa region, where at least three confirmed Ebola deaths were reported by authorities of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare in Monrovia.
Health and Social Welfare Minister, Dr. Walter T. Gwenigale and his Deputy, Dr. Bernice Dahn, had told a news conference Monday, March 24, that five of six persons, who recently crossed into Liberia from Guinea, had died from the Ebola virus. They clarified that three of the five died in Liberia, while the other two, upon their return to Guinea, also expired. The sixth is critical and being treated at a health facility in Zorzor, Lofa County.
Senior authorities at JFK Medical Center could not be reached for comment as their mobile phones were said to be switched off after we had tried more than five times.
Two suspected Ebola cases were diagnosed at the Ganta United Methodist Hospital on Monday, March 24, and the patients were immediately transferred to the John F. Kennedy Hospital in Monrovia, Dr. Claude Monga, Acting Chief Medical Officer of Ganta Hospital disclosed.
Speaking to a team of journalists on Tuesday, March 25, Dr. Monga revealed the two patients were transferred because the Ganta hospital didn’t have anywhere to keep such patients.
He said one of the patients, believed to be a nine-year-old girl, was brought from Guinea and was vomiting and excreting blood, days after she was admitted at the hospital. After discovering her condition, she was immediately transferred.
He also noted the other patient didn’t vomit or excrete blood, but had been having persistent fever for the past five days and was also transferred.
Dr. Claude said Ebola’s symptoms sometimes take five to ten days before they can actually be identified.
He said since there is a possibility of the virus being spread to the nurses, especially those in the Emergency Room/ER, they have been instructed to wear protective gear that covers their entire bodies.
“We have warned our nurses in the ER that before admitting any patient the doctor should be contacted because we do not want to mix up suspected cases with other patients,” he said.
The news of the spread of Ebola in the Mano River Basin is said to be creating some serious concern among the citizens as well as the medical practitioners in Nimba.
The Liberian border with Guinea at Ganta City has the highest amount of road traffic, channeling regular business activities between the two countries 6 days a week. This makes a Ganta a highly populated economic hub which also connects Southeastern Liberia to the rest of the country.
At the Nimba Superintendent’s Induction Ceremony in Sanniquellie on 24th March, the Medical Doctor at George Way Harley Hospital in Sanniquellie, Dr. Lorene C. Cooper, called the local government, including members of the 53rd Legislative Caucus to make funding available to set up a center in the county for suspected Ebola patients.
She warned the public to be careful with how they interacted with others, especially family members that come down with persistent fevers.
“There is nowhere in Nimba to take patients that may come in with this deadly sickness, she added.
Despite the alarming news of the virus raging havoc in Guinea, where at least 60 persons have died, our Nimba Correspondent said, Guineans interviewed in Ganta showed very little concern and appeared unaware of the prevailing health situation in their country.
“It is only in Liberia, we are hearing about this kind of news,” one of them, who is very frequent across the border, said.