An official at the Health Ministry here told this paper Monday evening that the source of the renewed Ebola outbreak had flew neighboring Guinea with her kids following the death of her husband.
The official said the woman who was pronounced dead upon arrival at the Redemption Hospital in New Kru Town, Monrovia last week had actually died at the local community clinic-Ma Watta in Jacob’s Towm on the outskirt of Monrovia before being taken to the Redemption Hospital.
“Her sister took her dead body there and dashed her after which she switch off her phone,” the source who pleaded anonymity told this paper. “She (sister) had moved out of the community with the two children and her 5-year old son to closer to a bush, that’s where we had struggled to find her,” the source said adding “Now her 5 years old son is down with the virus and we are using the Z-Map to treat him.”
The government has since announced the closure of the clinic to the public. But the clinic which is located in a compound housing other residents appears seen to have some staff around.
A NewDawn’s investigation into the Jacob Town community on Monday, 4 April saw the premises closed and under renovation. But community sources confirmed that the woman, whose husband had died from Ebola earlier in neighboring Guinea where there is renewed outbreak, crossed into Liberia recently was admitted at the Ma Wate clinic.
Our investigators observed ongoing renovation work as contractors laid tiles and installed widow glasses.
The Ministry of Health Sunday confirmed the new Ebola case and the subsequent death of the 30-year-old female victim in a press statement.
The release said the woman was taken to the Redemption Hospital in New Kru Town on Thursday, 31 March and pronounced dead on arrival. According to the release, her blood specimens were taken and tested positive for Ebola.
Investigations are reportedly ongoing to identify the source of transmission and the line-listing of contacts. Health Ministry Communication Director Sorbor George, disclosed about 85 persons or contacts have been linked to the deceased, including 15 health workers.
Mr. George said the index case (woman) and her 5-year-old daughter came from Guinea with the virus and resided in the Ne-zoe Community, Paynesville, adding serious tracing is ongoing to identified the taxi driver, who transported her and other people whom she may have come in contact with prior to her demise.
Meanwhile, the 85 contacts, including 15 health workers have been placed under surveillance by Health Ministry authorities. The latest Ebola case in Liberia came as a result of the renewed outbreak in neighboring Guinea, where over 800 persons have been reportedly vaccinated and 182 others placed on high risk.
The Ministry of Health in Monrovia is urging the public to continue preventive measures such as washing of hands with soap and clean water, communities exercising vigilance by reporting to community leaders and Health officials any person showing signs and symptoms of Ebola and dead bodies as well as to immediately dial emergency number 4455 for concerns and information.
By Ethel A. Tweh