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Boyfriend infects Ebola victim?

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The New Dawn Liberia The New Dawn LiberiaHealth authorities in Monrovia are still investigating the source of the latest case of the Ebola Virus Disease that involves a 44 years old female resident of Caldwell Township in the suburb of Monrovia.

Authorities here have confirmed that the 44-year-old victim, Ruth Tugbeh, is receiving medication in one of the best ETUs in Monrovia.

The Deputy Incident Manager at the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Dr. Francis Kateh, expressed concern that it has not been possible to establish how the woman became infected, as health workers have run out of “contacts” to pursue.

Addressing a regular press briefing on Monday at the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism on Capitol Hill,   he said health authorities have launched an investigation to determine whether the woman had visited any neighbouring country or attended secrete burials in her community prior to contracting the virus.

Dr. Karteh said at least 80 residents have been quarantined in Caldwell following the new confirmed case.

But unconfirmed multiple sources have hinted that the victim may have contracted the virus from her boyfriend, who is said to be an Ebola survivor, and a resident of Karpeh Street in the Borough of New Kru Town.

The unidentified boyfriend had reportedly completed the 90 days or three months period prescribed by doctors in the Ebola Treatment Units for survivors to abstain from sex. The Ebola virus lives in the semen of survivors for up to 90 days during which it is dangerous to have sexual intercourse with a partner, health experts have advised.      

The NewDawn also gathered that the boyfriend in question, fully completed his 90 days abstinence period as required, and was approaching 100 days when he allegedly had unsafe sexual intercourse with Ruth Tugbeh.

The couple reportedly had regular sex, using condoms but this time around, they decided to take the experiment a step further, having successfully completed the 90 days period.

Ruth was confirmed Ebola positive last Thursday at the Redemption Hospital in New Kru Town following several medical tests.

She is said to have experienced initial fever on Sunday, March 15, but her condition turned worse on Thursday of the same week.

When contacted, the Deputy Minister for Information Services at the Ministry of Information, Atty. Isaac Jackson, told this paper via mobile phone Monday that the government and its partners are still conducting thorough investigation to establish how the victim contracted the virus. 

He maintained that making any official statement on the issue in the absence of full investigation, could undermine the process.

Minister Jackson said while investigations are ongoing, it has been however established Ruth did not travel out of the country and did not visit any sick person or came in contact with dead body.

The New Dawn Liberia The New Dawn LiberiaA visit to the Caldwell compound of the victim by this paper late yesterday saw two houses, containing a total of 12 bedrooms quarantined with about 78 occupants.

Young women and children, who sat on the front porch of the buildings,  prevented reporters from taking photos, and threatened to stone the team of reporters, saying, “Don’t take our picture; we are not looking for people that will just come and take our picture.”

A man who identified himself as chairman for the community, Foday Kromah, narrated that the now confirmed Ebola case started within the community on Thursday March 19, 2015, but claimed the full attention of community dwellers on Friday, 20 March.

Chairman Kromah said the root source 0of the infection is yet unknown, but furthered that when it all started, the victim was removed from her house in the Tomsaw community on a motorbike to Caldwell Junction, where another bike took to the Redemption Hospital in New Kru Town where she was confirmed positive.

He confirmed that health authorities and partners in collaboration with residents immediately quarantined 78 occupants.

Chairman Kromah added that since the occupants of the compound were quarantined local NGOs and partners have been providing food items with some other materials for their upkeep, pending the countdown of 21 days. 

Story compiled by  E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor, Ben P. Wesee and Lewis S. Teh

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