-Several youths affected, worst among them a 12-year-old boy
Residents of Garmaymue Town, a farming community in Suakoko District in Bong County have reported the emergence of a “strange skin disease” in the district, affecting many persons, including children.
Emmanuel Waisakollie, a Registered Nurse with Phebe Hospital told the Daily Observer that disease has affected several households in the village.
Mr. Waisakollie said: “The disease looks different from the one people normally referred to as ‘Be Serious,’ because victims complain that it is painful and it has pus, and itchy.”
According to him, some of the victims said that each time they scratched a bump and the bump leaked to another area of the body, that particular area developed a painful bump that eventually spread to another part of the body.
He said he became aware of the disease in the village on Tuesday, February 20, while on his normal routine medical community outreach program.
“Two of the teenagers afflicted by the disease are in the worst of the condition, and there is the likelihood that other children may also contract the skin disease if district health authorities do not intervene in time,” Mr. Waisakollie warned.
Waisakollie said families of victims are using traditional herbs to treat themselves.
Although no death has been reported, the public health concern is heightened and those who are affected are being kept away from other people.
Some of the residents attribute the disease to unhygienic practices, including drinking from open bodies of water, while others blame the outbreak on witchcraft activities.
Local authorities in the town have therefore called on the Ministry of Health, National Public Health Institute of Liberia, the County Health Team, and the County Electoral District #5 Representative Edward Karfiah, to intervene.
“If nothing is done in the shortest time possible to contain the outbreak from spreading, other residents may fall prey to the virus, and in that event, anything could likely happen,” a resident lamented.
Meanwhile, the director of communications at the Ministry of Health, Mr. Sorbor George told the Daily Observer yesterday that “the Gbarnga situation is the same as scabies that the MOH has earlier talked about finding solutions to contain their spread,” and therefore people should not panic about it.