Liberia has now confirmed three new cases of Ebola, which comes after announcing it was Ebola-free just two months earlier. The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that a teenager died earlier this week, and had tested positive for the disease in the West African country.
Dr. Moses Massaquoi, the case management team leader for Liberia’s Ebola task force, said: “They come from the same time and have a history of having had dog meat together.” Dog meat is commonly eaten in Liberia.
“This might mean that there is a reservoir of Ebola in animals that we have not been paying attention to,” said Dr Philip Ireland, from the John F Kennedy Medical Center in Monrovia.
“We will contain it quickly because of where we are in the learning curve as far as Ebola is concerned,” said Ireland.
According to IFL Science, Liberian authorities are currently monitoring 175 people who have come into contact with the three cases.
The WHO expects the number of Ebola cases to rise as the investigation continues.
The first new case was 17-year-old Abraham Memaigar, whose death was announced earlier this week. Memaigar first visited a local health facility and was misdiagnosed with Malaria and discharged. He died a week later, and postmortem tests confirmed that it was due to Ebola. He received a safe burial the same day. A neighbor later tested positive for the virus.
New Ebola cases in Liberia raise fears of fresh outbreak:
“We have, as of yesterday, three confirmed cases. One expired, who was the 17-year-old boy… The two live cases are 24 years old and 27 years old. They are stable,” Deputy Health Minister Tolbert Nyenswah said.
“At this stage, the origin of infection is not known,” according to WHO. “The case reportedly had no recent history of travel, contact with visitors from affected areas, or funeral attendance.”
“It is like being kicked in the gut, but at least we knew it might be coming,” said Sheldon Yett, the representative for the United Nations children’s agency UNICEF in Liberia. “People have gotten into gear. There’s no panic.”
Let’s hope they find the host and sort this out before there are anymore deaths.