A third Ebola case has been confirmed in Liberia, the head of the country's Ebola response team, Tolbert Nyenswah told a news conference in Monrovia Thursday.
Nyenswah said there were now two confirmed cases in the in a government-run Ebola treatment unit in Paynesville.
"Two live cases are now in the ETU (Ebla treatment unit),” Nyenswah said. "There are a 24-year-old and a 27-year-old in the ETU. They are stable and doing fine. They are from the same community. So the situation is localized in Liberia in one town called Nedowein."
"They were immediately tested and taken to the ETU and 175 contacts are now being followed," Nyenswah added.
Nyenswah said unlike the previous Ebola outbreak, the Ministry of Health was pretty much atop of the current situation and was ready to control and contain the spread of the disease.
"These people (contacts) are not sick people; they don't have Ebola right now. We will be following them up for 21 days. We will do reclassification of those contacts," said, adding” The 175 people are preliminary line-listed contacts from the three cases that have been reported thus far."
As part of the containment and control mechanism, Nyenswah Intensified Ebola protocols, prevention methods and tracking devices were being placed local borders as well as at the Roberts International Airport.
"We've intensified infection prevention and control measures at all of the 16 healthcare facilities in that district and in the area. Schools in that area have intensified their hand-washing.
"At close of business today, the Roberts International Airport is installing three thermo-scanning cameras to detect temperature as passengers walk through.
Protecting our borders is critical and so surveillance continues across the borders. Right now we've intensified our checkpoints like checkpoints along the Margibi roads, checkpoints on the Buchanan road."
Nyenswah said the mode of transmission and causative agent of the new cases were still unknown, unknown source of infection, but was quick to point out that the three cases were all related.
"Up to now, we haven't known the source of transmission of the first case, the 17-year-old that died, that we buried. We're still validating to know whether or not the rumors of going across the borders, that animal is the cause. We are still investigating that. We are still investigating whether there was a survivor that caused the current stuff. It will take some time. We are painstakingly investigating what might have been the cause of the mode of transmission.
"Epidemiologists at Nedowein have done the initial line-listing of 175 contacts. They will continue with community engagement. Next step is to do contact tracing, active case search and active case finding. All of those epidemiological functions are being triggered in the community.
"If there are any contacts that escaped we will know because the community people are on top of this."
Quarantined healthcare workers
Nyenswah confirmed the quarantine of healthcare workers of the Unification Town Clinic, where the deceased 17-year-old was misdiagnosed and treated for malaria.
"Those people (healthcare workers) have put themselves under precautionary observation. They are in their homes; they under precautionary observation. We are observing them for 21 days and there is no need for using quarantine measures.
He said there were 14 healthcare workers who had placed themselves under quarantine at their homes.