The Bong County Health Team on the county Taskforce has released an update of Ebola cases in the county, recording a total of 73 new cases for the period of one week.
Briefing Journalists at the office of the Bong County Health Team at the Phebe Hospital Compound on Monday, the Administrator at the County Health Team, Fartormah Jusu, said of the 73 new cases, there were nine confirmed, 49 suspected and 15 probable.
Mr. Jusu also announced to the meeting that the Bong County Ebola Taskforce received seventy specimen results of last week, of which 32 were positive and 36 were negative, while two were in- determinant, meaning the two are required to redo their EVD test.
The County Health Administrator was swift to notify the County Taskforce that a cumulative number of 972 contacts listed were recorded from July to September, among which 155 persons completed the 21 days of quarantine as instituted by the County Health Team.
He disclosed that the county recorded 27 cumulative deaths from the Ebola Treatment Unit in Suakoko District, with 83 admissions currently at the ETU.
Mr. Jusu indicated that the County Health Team has documented 44 discharged patients from the ETU, with 34 tested negative. He said three children from the ETU in Bong County have been reintegrated with their parents in the county after surviving the human killer disease.
He named Gbarpolu County as the latest epi center, with seven cases being reported from the county with one positive and six suspected.
The County Health Team Administrator informed the gathering that the Ebola cases began to increase from mid August to October 13, 2014, something he described as a bad omen for the people of Bong County.
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, who fail 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 against the virus” Mr. Jusu declared shaking his head in disappointment.
He told this newspaper that one of the underlying reasons for the swell in deaths in recent times is the entrenched culture of silence on the part of Liberians to report for testing in spite of the presence of testing centers in the county. This, he said, will lead to the breakdown of the fabric of the society.
The County Health Official narrated that with the ingrained culture of silence, the County Health Team is finding it tremendously difficult to fight the Ebola virus disease in the county. At the same time, suspected Ebola virus carriers are not prepared to be quarantined or to report to the health facilities for early check up.
Ordinary Bong County residents who spoke with the Daily Observer argued the virus is not being enclosed due to the lackadaisical attitude on the part of the inhabitants to abide by the actions put in place by Health authorities; while others maintained that the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and the Government of Liberia are not doing enough to encourage health workers to provide services at the health facilities and ETUs around the country.