Liberia’s Health Minister Dr. Bernice Dahn says unexplained illness has killed 12 victims from Sinoe, Grand Bassa and Montserrado Counties, out of 31 cases reported here so far.
She told reporters at the Ministry of Health in Congo Town during a press conference on Monday, 8 May that a total of 31 cases have been reported as of 7 May. She says Sinoe County alone has 27 cases with 10 deaths, two cases with two deaths in Montserrado County and two cases with one death in Grand Bassa County, respectively.
The Health Ministry here says the common signs and symptoms that come with the sickness include headache, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, weakness and mental confusion. Minister Dahn says cumulatively 12 cases have been discharged and placed under closed monitoring at home.
According Minister Dahn, two cases remain hospitalized and are clinically stabilized at the FJ Grant Hospital in Sinoe, and the government hospital in Grand Bassa County.
Dr. Dahn notes that the last death occurred in Sinoe County on 26 April, while in Montserrado the last death was on 29 April. But she discloses that one new case has been reported in Grand Bassa County, adding that the contacts of the 110 attendees to a funeral in Sinoe are being closely Monitored across six Counties.
The Health Minister reports that 207 contacts are being monitored in Sinoe, Montserrado, Maryland, Grand Gedeh, Grand Kru and Grand Bassa Counties.
She says in Sinoe there have been 150 cases, 40 in Montserrado, and 17 in Grand Bassa. According to her, there are 51 specimens collected from 26 cases and tested at the Liberia Institute of Biomedical Research.
At least 28 suspected cases have tested negative for Ebola and Lassa Fever, while additional samples have been sent to France, supported by MSF France for further testing with results negative for Ebola, Lassa Fever and Meningitis Fever.
The Minister adds that a pathologist from Kenya is here to carry on autopsy, though she says bodies have been buried by the burial team in consultation with families of the deceased.
Meanwhile, Minister Dahn has admonished he public against panic, saying they should take the preventive measures and report any death or sickness to the County Health Team and local authorities in any county, especially Montserrado, Sinoe, and Grand Bassa Counties. She concludes that there is no need to panic on grounds that the illness can be treated and prevented.
By Samuel P. Kamara-Editing by Winston W. Parley