LIBERIA: Emergency Response to Latest Ebola Outbreak underway, says WHO

MONROVIA APRIL 5, 2016 (CISA) – World Health Organisation (WHO) and Ministry of Health teams in Liberia and Guinea are investigating the origins of Ebola transmission in Liberia’s latest flare-up after a five-year old boy tested positive for the virus.

According to WHO the boy is one of three young children of a woman who died from Ebola in Liberia last week having had recently travelled from Guinea, bringing the number of cases in this latest flare-up to 2.

“He (the boy) is being treated at an Ebola care facility in Monrovia. Her two other children, plus her sister, are being closely observed by medical staff,” WHO said in a statement on April 4.

According to Liberian health authorities, the woman arrived with her children on 21 March, shortly after her husband died in Guinea from unknown causes. She stayed with relatives in Monrovia, where she developed symptoms over the following week. She initially sought care in local clinics and died en route to a Monrovia hospital on 31 March.

“Liberian health authorities quickly reactivated the country’s emergency response mechanisms and immediately set to work tracing, isolating and monitoring contacts of the confirmed cases, intensifying infection prevention and disease control measures and stepping up community outreach,” states WHO.

“Eighty-four contacts of the cases have been identified in Liberia as of today and have been placed under medical observation. Affected households have been offered food, water, hygiene supplies and counselling,” adds the UN humanitarian agency.

These latest cases in Liberia mark the country’s third flare-up of Ebola virus disease since its original outbreak was declared over on May 9, 2015. The previous flare-up in Liberia began in November 2015 and ended this year on January 14.

Last week, WHO said the Ebola epidemic which has killed more than 11,300 people mostly in West Africa, since December 2013 no longer represents a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, asserting that Guinea, Liberia and Sierra now have the detection and response capacities to effectively manage small outbreaks when they occur.

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