Liberians are expressing fear following Friday pronouncement by health authorities that the deadly Ebola virus have resurfaced in Monrovia.
Health Minister Bernice Dahn told a news Conference Friday that two direct family members tested positive and that the first of the new patients was a 10-year-old boy who lived with his parents and three brothers in the Du-pot Road community in Paynesville, outside Monrovia.
According to her, all six family members, as well as other high risk contacts, are in care at the ELWA Ebola Treatment Unit in Paynesville.
"The hospital is currently decontaminating the unit. All of the healthcare workers who came into contact with the patient have been notified," she said.
"We know how Ebola spreads and we know how to stop Ebola, but we must remain vigilant and work together," she stressed.
According to her, it all started on Thursday, November 19, when the ministry received a report from one of its reference laboratories that a blood sample from a live patient tested positive for Ebola.
She said that the sample was taken from a patient with Ebola-like symptoms, including fever, weakness and bleeding at a hospital in Monrovia.
Dr. Dahn also said on November 17 the hospital admitted and placed the patient in isolation while the blood sample tested positive and confirmatory test was conducted and also tested positive for Ebola.
The Health Minister said that the four patients and high risk contacts are in care at the Ebola Treatment Unit (ETU) in Monrovia.
Dr. Dahn indicated that the Ministry is working with the Montserrado County Health Team and partners to conduct an investigation to isolate and limit the effects of this case, and to quickly respond to any additional cases that may be identified.
“At this time, we are still gathering information to identify possible contacts to ensure all individuals are notified and, if necessary, receive care,” Dr. Dahn said.
The virus has killed over 11,300 people in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia since it surfaced in December 2014.
Sierra Leone was declared free of the virus on November 7 and Guinea has begun its countdown to the end of the virus in about six weeks.
The 42-day countdown to be declared Ebola-free starts when the last patient tests negative a second time, normally after a 48-hour gap following their first negative test.