Gov’t Confirms 2 More Ebola Cases

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Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Francis N. Kateh responds to question as President Sirleaf listens_web.jpg

Dr. Francis N. Kateh, Chief Medical Officer (CMO) and Deputy Health Minister, has confirmed two more new Ebola cases in the country. This brings the total number of confirmed cases to four alive and one deceased.

At a regular press conference yesterday in Monrovia, Dr. Kateh disclosed the number of confirmed cases and added that there were also a few suspected cases.

He stated that all the confirmed and deceased cases are from the same geographical location—along the main highway leading to the Roberts International Airport in Margibi County.

The four are now receiving supportive treatment at an Ebola Treatment Unit. According to Dr. Kateh, the patients are receiving the best possible care from health practitioners that could be provided to anyone confirmed with the virus.

He said there are 120 persons under “precautionary observation” which is being done voluntarily, taking into consideration the impact of quarantining a community in the country.

Among the 120 persons, 11 of them have been categorized as “high risk,” based on their level of exposure.

“We also have 42 high-risk contacts, 13 medium and 49-low risk persons,” Dr. Kateh explained.

According to him, the few suspected ones are expected to be transferred to a “safe home” for other treatment if their last tests prove negative.

Dr. Kateh has meanwhile assured the public that health workers are in control of the Ebola situation and several of them are in the field despite the rainy season, gathering information to contain the epidemic.

He explained further that health officials have developed many protocols and best practices aimed at increasing survivor rate across the country, which is to be maintained to help contain the virus.

“We are once more into a situation where we continuously ask the general public to help us do what is best by cooperating with us (health practitioners) to save our nation from this deadly disease,” Dr. Kateh admonished.

“In the next six to twelve hours government in collaboration with health authorities, including its partners, will speak to the public on the cause of the resurgence of the EVD in the country.

“We have carried out a sequence of studies of this new outbreak from the first case announced or the index case (the first identified case in a group of related cases of a particular communicable or heritable disease) and will give the public information that is credible,” Dr. Kateh assured.

He said health officials will provide the public vital information through press releases concerning the cause of the resurgence.

Meanwhile, Margibi County authorities have resumed the usual Ebola protocol measures. The measures require everyone entering or leaving the county to stop at the various points of entry and exits to wash their hands and have their body temperatures recorded.

Mr. Festus Z. Tarpar, Communications Officer of the county, told the Daily Observer yesterday that they were working diligently with the Ministry of Health to tackle the resurgence and bring it under control.

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