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Tests rule out Ebola

Health authorities here have ruled Ebola in the recent death of 9 persons as a result of a mysterious disease. Health officials say the result from the testing of blood samples and other specimens of the dead and sick persons from shows no evidence of Ebola resurgence.

At least 9 persons have died from a mysterious disease after they attended a funeral in Sinoe County, southeast Liberia. A press statement issued by the Ministry of Health in Monrovia on Wednesday, 26 April says the Sinoe County Health Team informed the Ministry about a series of unexplained deaths in five communities in Greenville District.

The four communities affected are Teah’s Town (8 cases), Congo Town (3 cases), Red Hill (2) and Downtown (1 case) all located in Greenville city. Liberia’s Chief Medical Officer and Deputy Minister of Health, Dr. Francis Kateh, who read the release in a press briefing held at the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism on Capitol Hill, disclosed that initial tests conducted by the Liberia Institute for Bio-Medical Research in Charlesville, Margibi County ruled out Ebola Virus Disease or EVD as cause of the deaths.

“Of the 17 persons who have fallen ill so far, 9 have died and 8 patients are currently admitted and undergoing treatment at the Grant Hospital in Greenville, Sinoe County”, says Dr. Kateh. He assures that investigation is continuing to establish the actual cause of the deaths.

Reports from the county says the dead include an eleven-year-old girl from Teah Town community, Greenville who attended funeral of a religious leader over the weekend after which seven persons died, who allegedly attended the same funeral.

Name of the religious leader has not been identified, but prior to his demise, he was reportedly hospitalized at the John F. Kennedy Hospital in Monrovia where he was allegedly diagnosed of high blood pressure.

On Monday, April 24, another patient, from Down town community, who also attended the funeral of the religious leader, suffered headache, body pain and skin itching, and was admitted at the F. J. Grant Hospital, but died on Tuesday morning, April 25.

The third victim was a female from Red Hill community, Greenville, who came down with diarrhea and vomiting and subsequently pronounced dead upon arrival at J.F. Grant Hospital.

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Meanwhile, the release says the County Health Team and local authorities are currently coordinating response activities and a team from the “central level” has been dispatched to provide additional support. The Ministry of Health says it has in place necessary systems, measures and capacity to contain outbreak of infectious diseases anywhere in the country. Reports say some symptoms of the disease include: abdominal pains, vomiting and headaches. Additional reporting

-by Ethel A. Tweh

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