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Dr. Kateh stresses honesty in Ebola fight

Dr. Francis Ketteh NDThe Chief Medical Officer of Liberia and deputy Minister of Health, Dr. Francis Kateh, says the fight to contain the Ebola virus in the country can only be successful if contacts being observed are willing to provide proper information to health authorities.

He stressed that providing proper information will not only prevent spread of the current wave of the virus, but also bring a timely end to the Ebola crisis and allow Liberia to move forward with growth and development.

Speaking in an interview Wednesday at the Ministry of Health in Congo Town suburb of Monrovia, Dr. Katehsaid as a result of experience from the last outbreak of the virus in the country, Liberia now has the potential to contain the situation, but current efforts, he emphasized, should be backed by cooperation of victims and affected communities.

The Chief Medical Officer, who is head of the Incident Management System or IMS, said the IMS has written all County Health Officers across the country, urging them to be on the alert as well as intensify surveillance against the virus.

He continued that the IMS has also pre-positioned supplies at its forward logistics bases to enable them respond speedily in cases of emergency.

This week, the U.S. Central for Disease Control or CDC refuted that the 17-year-old lad, died of Ebola recently in Margibi County was not as a result of allegedly eating a dead dog, as claimed by a local civil society group here.

The Ministry of Health in Monrovia had announced that the 17-year-old victim from Nedowein community died of the Ebola Virus Disease, after the authorities took two samples of the body – one body swab and one blood sample.

A report issued by the CDC says tests were subsequently conducted by the Liberian Institute for Biomedical Research or LIBR, the United States Army Medical Research Institutes of Infectious disease or USAMRIDD and the Liberian Ministry of Health, which confirmed the victim of Ebola.

The tests results show that the boy did not get infected by eating a dead dog or bushmeat but got infected with the Ebola virus in Liberia. He did not get infected with the virus by traveling from Sierra Leone or Guinea to Liberia or by coming in contact with an Ebola patient from Guinea or Sierra Leone, health authorities here clarified.

Meanwhile, the CDC and the Ministry of Health are still investigating what the above results actually mean in terms of how the boy got infected. Authorities at the Ministry of Health say they are investigating all possible situations.

Liberia has recorded a total of six new cases since its Ebola-free status was jeopardized on June 24thfollowing the death of a 17-year-old male victim in lower Margibi County. By Ben P. Wesee – Editing by Jonathan Browne

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