The assistant mister for preventive services at the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare in Monrovia, Tolbert Nyenswah, has announced here that the death toll from the Ebola Virus Disease in Liberia has hit 105 with 48 confirmed deaths since the second wave of outbreak of the disease in the country from May 29 to July 16, 2014.
Assistant minister Nyenswah also said that to date, 179 cases have been reported throughout the country, 67 of them confirmed. Addressing a weekly press briefing at the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism Thursday on Capitol Hill, he said four additional counties have been re-categorized as response counties, bringing the total number of counties affected by the Ebola Virus here to seven.
The newly affected counties are: Bomi, Grand Cape Mount, Bong and Nimba. The Government had earlier named Lofa, Montserrado and Margibi counties as the three initially affected areas.
In the wake of reports here of unidentified persons administering fake Ebola vaccines into communities across Monrovia, Nyenswah clarified that there is no vaccine or cure for the virus, stressing that a local tree nut commonly known as bitter kola, is not a cure for Ebola as being expressed in the public.
The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare is therefore urging the public to report anyone or group of people seen in communities administering vaccine, tablets, herbs or injection supposedly for the prevention of Ebola to the nearest police station or immediately call Lonestar Cell 1333 or Cellcom 4455.
“The public is requested not to listen to any other information from unknown individual or group except that provided by the Ministry of Health and partners”, a press statement here by the ministry read.
Minister Nyenswah has urged the public to take all necessary preventive measures, such as avoiding touching dead bodies, body fluids, materials of infected Ebola persons, including direct physical contacts like handshakes, kissing and contact with body fluids of infected or dead persons or animals as well as consistently washing hands with soap and water.
Health authorities in Liberia have reported scores of Ebola related deaths, affecting both patients and nurses since the deadly virus broke out in the West African region, but there has been no official pronouncement of a vaccine to cure the disease.
Messages have continuously centered on preventive tips such as avoiding contacts with infected persons, touching their vomit and urine, or dead bodies, among others. Meanwhile, Nyenswah said rumor circulating in the country about people going to hospital to seek medical attention being rejected by nurses and doctors is true.
“We instructed all of the nurses and doctors to conduct a test of all of the sicknesses, including malaria, stomach pain, among others before declaring a patient Ebola-positive. As an expert in the medical field, I cannot sit and allow citizens to suffer from this deadly virus without informing the relevant authorities to institute measures to calm this situation down”, he added.