Authorities of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MoHSW) have told the Daily Observer that at least five persons who were tested positive for the deadly Ebola virus disease (EVD), have now successfully recovered and have tested ‘negative.’
According to Assistant Health Minister Tolbert Nyenswah, four of the five, who are in Lofa and one in Montserrado, have now been “reintegrated” back into their respective communities.
“This is a good news in our fight against the disease,” Asst. Min. Nyenswah, a Public Health Expert, said. “I am told that one of the Lofa survivors is a member of the Voinjama AG Church. There was a big celebration by the church members for the recovery of their colleague,” he added.
The Asst. Health Minister, who is also the Deputy Chief Medical Officer of the nation, said the Government, through the Health Ministry wants to use those survivors as ambassadors to raise the hope of anyone contracting the disease that they, too, can survive. They would also tell the nation the kind of care they are given by health workers, some of whom are working 24/7 spreading health tips on the prevention of the disease.
However, our Health Correspondent said it is a known fact that surviving the Ebola virus disease has to be by sheer miracle, as the disease has no known cure at the moment and it has a 90 percent case fatality rate. This means that nine out of 10 persons, who are confirmed positive with the virus die within two to 21 days.
The five, whose names are yet undisclosed and were discharged Monday, July 7, had, upon arrival, tested positive but underwent treatment and laboratory results later showed negative.
It can be recalled that in April a family, who had been quarantined following the death of one of their members, was reintegrated back into the community in Firestone, Margibi County after being tested negative, even though they had not been tested positive, initially.
Forty-eight-year-old Fallah Taylor, head of a Foya Family, had had contact with his wife, who died after contracting the disease. Mr. Taylor was later declared free from the virus and reintegrated into the community by the Chief Medical Officer of Liberia, Dr. Bernice Dahn.
Meanwhile, the Health Ministry has said that at least 41 persons have now been confirmed killed by the virus since the outbreak was reported in Liberia on March 22. However, the Ministry also said that 46 other deaths, have reported to be in the “probable” and “suspected” cases; this brings the total number of deaths to 87 in the “confirmed, probable and suspected” category.
Of the number of deaths in all the cases, 47 are reported to have taken place in Lofa, five in Margibi and 35 in Montserrado. Among these deaths are 11 health workers.
The Ministry further said it has so far confirmed 63 nationally to have contracted the virus and additional 38 and 30 fall within the probable and suspected cases, making it 131 cases in all the cases, including “probable, confirmed and suspected.”
The Ministry further encourages the public to take the following precautionary measures during this Ebola emergency period, “not to eat dead bush animals. Be very careful in handling fresh bush meat; avoid bathing dead bodies of suspected patients; avoid eating plums/mangoes and other fruits partially eaten by bats; avoid eating monkeys, bats, and bamboos and prevent coming in direct contact with body fluids of infected persons or dead persons.