LIBERIA: Health Ministry Gives Update On Ebola Outbreak

The Ministry of Health and Social has clarified that the number of suspected hemorrhagic fever cases remains at six with four deaths as of March 26.

A Health Ministry press release issued in Monrovia Wednesday said the two cases and one death reported from Curran Hospital in Zorzor on Tuesday, March 25, did not meet the case definition of viral hemorrhagic fevers, adding that this has reduced the number of suspected cases and deaths.

According to the release signed by Deputy Minister Bernice T. Dahn, the Ministry of Health has continued to monitor and investigate cases of suspected viral hemorrhagic fever in the country.

Suspected cases reported earlier were investigated and verified to ensure that they met the standard definition of viral hemorrhagic fevers, said the release quoted by the Liberia News Agency.

Meanwhile, according to the press release, the Ministry of Health Emergency Task Force continues to meet, and has developed a three-month response plan estimated at US$1.2 million to accelerate the response.

The Health Ministry, however, hastened to add that about 99 percent of these funds are yet to be mobilized.

The release said a number of immediate interventions are being carried out by the Ministry of Health and partners, to respond to the suspected outbreak.

The interventions include continuous field investigation to identify suspected cases and contacts, including follow-up, shipment of blood samples for laboratory confirmation, public awareness, provision of personal protective equipment, IV- fluids, lab team sent to Lofa County and the deployment of WASH materials to the county.

At the same time, the Ministry of Health is urging community and religious leaders, the media, local government officials and students to support the efforts of the Ministry of Health and partners, in preventing the spread of the disease.

It called for limiting as much as possible, direct contact with body fluids of infected persons or dead persons, and avoiding physical contacts such as handshakes, kissing, as well as washing hands with soap and water as frequently as possible.

Other measures are avoiding direct contacts with animals such as fruit bats and monkeys and/or apes and the consumption of their raw meat.

The Ministry of Health is also urging people to avoid contact with body fluids of infected persons or dead persons and treat water with chlorine before drinking, according to the press release.

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