“Hypothesis” in the source of Ebola transmission that killed a 17- year-old boy in Liberia last month “is leading to sexual transmission,” according to the head of Liberia’s Incidence Management System, Tolbert Nyenswah.
But Mr. Nyenswah, who is also Deputy Minister of Health, told State radio ELBC on Monday, July 20 that investigation has not concluded to emphatically state the actual source, adding that efforts were still being made to establish whether the source was human or animal.
As a result of the death of the 17-year-old lad, 115 contacts have been placed under “precautionary observation in Margibi County where the new outbreak surfaced in June, while 17 contacts have since been observed here in Montserrado County.
The latest outbreak that followed more than a month after Liberia was declared Ebola-freed by the World Health Organization on May 9, led to widespread rumors here that the victim and others may have gotten infected from eating an alleged dead dog.
Minister Nyenswah reminded that Ebola left over 1,000 survivors in Liberia “and the disease has a reservoir that we have not eradicated yet,” strongly advising health care providers not to treat people at home, pharmacists or stores, but to apply all preventive measures.
He however assured that health workers here are intervening to stop the outbreak, and that concerns as to when Liberia would commence another countdown would depend on the time the total number of contacts from the latest outbreak would be discharged from observation.
On Monday, he said four persons who have recovered – including “two confirmed and two convalescence” – were to be discharged at 11a.m. from the ELWA Three in Paynesville, outside Monrovia.
Up to date, he says there are 17 contacts in Montserrado “under precautionary observation” and confined to their homes where health workers visit both morning and evening hours.
“The other 115 are in Margibi County,” he said, while adding that some of those contacts have already completed 21 days in observation and “reintegrated with their families.” By Winston W. Parley – Editing by Jonathan Browne