Liberian health authorities are reporting two new confirmed cases of the deadly Ebola virus disease (EVD) in the country.
Those who came down with the virus are family members of the 17-year-old Abraham Memigar, who died from the virus on Sunday, June 28 in Needowein Town, not far from Unification Town where the Roberts International Airport (RIA) is situated in Margibi County.
At least three members of Memigar’s family are sick at the moment, but only two of the three results have so far proven positive and the third person’s result was still being “determined” up to press time last night. The two persons are now being given “supportive treatments” at the ELWA-3 Ebola treatment unit (ETU), because there is no known cure yet for the virus.
ELWA-3 was the facility run by the medical charity, Médecin Sans Frontierès before they turned it over to the Liberian government for management.
Mr. Festus Z. Tarpar, Communications Officer for Margibi County, told the Daily Observer yesterday in an exclusive interview that the county health authorities had quarantined more than 100 persons who reportedly came in contact with the deceased.
“Of that number, 55 persons are primary contacts, meaning that they came in direct contact with the boy prior to his death,” said Tarpar. This number of persons includes family members of people both from his father’s side in Unification Town and his mother’s side in Needowein.
He also stated that 14 health workers who were present at the RIA Health Center when the boy sought treatment there have been quarantined at the health facility.
“That health facility is now closed at the moment. There are no health care delivery services there for now. We have asked people with ordinary sicknesses like malaria to seek treatment at other facilities in Dolo Town, Cotton Tree or Charlesville,” Tarpar urged.
The reappearance of Ebola 49 days after the nation was declared Ebola-transmission free on Saturday, May 9, by the World Health Organization (WHO) means Liberia has lost its Ebola-free status until it can overcome this latest attack and pass through the 42 day period with no infections anywhere in the country.
At the moment, the intriguing thing that is baffling health authorities, including epidemiologists from WHO, the Ministry of Health, Centers for Disease Control and others, is how did Memigar contract the virus after the country has gone more than two incubation periods of 42 days? These health specialists are now asking questions and investigating in Unification Town and Needowein where the boy reportedly died and was safely buried by Global Community.
There is no known history of Abraham Memigar coming in direct harm’s way. However, one hearsay floating around is that just before he got sick with the virus, he had cooked and eaten a dog that “died by itself.”
The Daily Observer was also told that presently there are Ebola survivors, who are family members of the deceased.
As at June 28, according to WHO, Abraham’s passing increased Liberia’s death tally to 4,806 since the outbreak in March, 2014. At least 10,666 have been infected with the virus as of the same date.