Dr. Francis Nah Kateh, Chief Medical Officer (CMO) and Deputy Minister of Health, yesterday confirmed a second death in Monrovia from the ‘strange disease’ that has killed more than ten (10) people in Greenville, Sinoe County.
Dr. Kateh said the total deaths have now reached 12 including the two in Montserrado County.
“Some of those who travelled from Greenville in the aftermath of the situation and arrived in Monrovia are being traced and monitored, while at least two are confirmed dead,” Dr. Kateh told the ELBC afternoon news yesterday.
He said six of the nine affected people in Sinoe County have been discharged, while the three are in stable condition at the Francis J. Grant Hospital in Greenville, the county’s political capital.
Kateh noted that the cause of deaths remains unknown, but repeatedly ruled out Ebola and Lassa fever.
Meanwhile, Dr. Kateh has informed the public that specimens from the affected people are being sent out of the country to determine the actual cause of deaths as an internal investigation continues.
The latest deaths are a concern for residents of Monrovia, who are still grappling with the aftermath of the deadly Ebola virus disease that took away the lives of over 4,000 Liberians in 2014 and 2015.
It can be recalled that on April 25, residents of the port city of Greenville woke up to discover that half a dozen of their kinsmen had died under mysterious circumstances.
The Ministry of Health representative in River Cess County with oversight responsibility for Sinoe County, Derry S. Duokie’s first reaction was that the cluster of deaths was of “unexplained causes,” a situation which he said started at about 5 a.m. that day.
Duokie had suspected that the deaths of the six people were the result of a “suspected fever of unknown origin (FUO),” which he said health personnel in the county were investigating.
The Ministry of Health in Monrovia meanwhile made an urgent call to put into place interventions before the situation gets out of hand.
The Liberian National Police (LNP) spokesperson, Sam Collins, who confirmed to the Daily Observer that the police is investigating the deaths, also promised to investigate the circumstances leading the deaths.