Amidst Election Campaign: 22 New Ebola Cases in Bong

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The Bong County Health Team has released an update of Ebola cases in the county, recording a total of 22 new cases in a period of just one week amidst the election campaign.

Apprising journalists on Monday, November 24, the Administrator at the County Health Office, Mr. Fartormah Jusu, said of the 22 new cases, 10 were reported confirmed, 11 suspected and one probable.

Mr. Jusu also announced to the County Ebola Task Force that the emergence of the new cases is a result of a recent outbreak of the disease in Taylor Town, Yellequelleh District, Bong County.

The County Health Administrator was swift to notify the County Task Force that the breach of quarantine rules by residents of Taylor Town and Bobota was also responsible for the resurrection of the new cases.

He told the gathering that unless the rupture of quarantine measures is addressed, Bong County risks perpetual infection of the Ebola virus disease. He mentioned that more than 30 residents of the town have been infected with the virus, which has claimed the lives of at least 10 persons in that town. 

He disclosed that the county recorded 33 of its 243 cumulative admissions cured, with 121 of the 243 patients having tested negative of the virus.

Mr. Jusu told the Taskforce that he believes the rapid spread of the disease is the direct result of attitudinal problems on the part of local residents to adhere to measures as announced by health authorities.

“If we do not change our behavior of how to treat this deadly disease, it will surely live with us for a long period of time despite the international community’s firm commitment to help us fight it,” Mr. Jusu stated with disappointment.

 He told this newspaper in a side interview that one of the underlining reasons for the swell in deaths in recent times is the entrenched culture of silence and reluctance of some Liberians to report for testing in spite of the presence of a testing facility in the county.

The Bong health official noted that as a result, they are finding it difficult to fight the disease, at the same time suspected patients are not prepared to be quarantined or to report to the health facilities for early examination.

The Medical Coordinator of the International Medical Corps and Director at the Bong County Ebola Treatment Unit (ETU) in Suakoko District, Dr. Atilio has stressed that a multi-sectoral approach is needed if Liberians want to eradicate the disease in the country.

Dr. Atilio told the Daily Observer Tuesday at the Suakoko ETU that every Liberian needs to collaborate and follow all preventive measures announced by government and partners in order to break the transmission chain of the virus.

He said that as of November 25, the ETU had at least 48 patients, including 36 males and 12 females.

Meanwhile, ordinary Bong residents, who spoke to the Daily Observer argued that the spread of the virus is not taken seriously because some Bong residents do not care to abide by the measures put in place by health authorities.

Others maintained that the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and entire Liberian government are not doing enough to eradicate the disease.

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