Liberians Arriving In U.S. Rejected By Family Members For Ebola Fear – Story by James Momoh

Following the news that a Liberian who left his home country and arrived in the United States diagnosed of the deadly Ebola Virus which has taken hundreds of lives, report say  Liberians in the United States are reportedly refusing to accommodate their relatives and friends arriving in that country either for a visit or business adventure.

According to our United States Correspondent, these US based Liberians are not making their homes accessible to family members returning from Liberia due to the fear of the current Ebola epidemic in the country. They are now providing them with hotels accommodation for twenty one days the incubation period of the deadly Ebola virus before establishing contact with their relatives.  Since the Ebola outbreak, Liberia is the most affected with the death toll from the virus estimated at 3,300 from the infected countries.  According to reports most of the individuals falling victim to the virus are health care workers that provided medical care to people infected with the virus.

The decision by Liberians residing in the United States coincides with the recent arrival of Thomas Eric Duncan who arrived in the United States recently after getting infected with the virus from Liberia. Duncan is currently fighting for his life in a Texas hospital due to complications developed after getting infected with the virus while in Liberia.

According to family sources and homes visited by our reporter in the United States, the decision to host returning relatives from Liberia in hotels is to ensure that they are clear of the virus after twenty one days of staying in an environment without direct contact with family members or relatives; ‘We are in solidarity with the people of Liberia for those of our families that are returning, we are setting these barriers to reduce the risk of spreading the virus to Liberian communities in the United States.’ The wife of a Liberian pastor whose husband returned to the United States from Liberia told our reporter. ‘

This is all about safety she added’ When an official of the Liberian community in the United States was contacted about the current infection reduction mechanism, he told our reporter that the action by Liberian families was done on individual bases but was not a directive by the community leadership. He said the decision by families whose relatives are returning from Liberia is intended to reduce the potential of returnees unknowingly coming with the virus without symptoms and putting the lives of the rest of their families in danger.

The official who spoke our reporter under the condition anonymity said the Ebola outbreak in Liberia requires nationals from the affected countries in the diaspora to become proactive by ensuring that people returning from these ‘hazardous’ countries seek testing for the virus immediately before accommodating them in their respective homes or communities using the Duncan scenario as an example.  

When some of the returnees were contacted at their self-imposed isolation center or hotel room,  they told our reporter that when they arrived in the United States from Liberia, they were immediately provided accommodation in  hotels for fear that they were coming to the United States with the virus even though they underwent extensive questioning and testing before boarding their flight for the United States.

They said since arriving in the United States from Liberia their families have refused to come in contact with them for fear that they may contract the virus. ‘They only speak to us via telephone and refusing to physically meet us one of the returnees mentioned during the interview.

While another indicated that the virus is not only killing people in the affected countries but also creating financial hardship on families’ Staying in a hotel for almost a month is costly one of the returnees lamented.  The Ebola virus is spread through direct contact with saliva, sweat, blood and other bodily fluids.  

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