Monrovia - The Ministry of Health has clarified that the outbreak of a new disease in Sinoe County has affected twenty-eight persons, while twelve are reported to have died from the disease in total.
According to the Chief Medical Officer of Liberia, Dr. Francis Kateh, the Ministry of Health is seriously investigating the new disease but maintains that the Ministry cannot confirm what kind of disease it is until after the investigation.
Speaking at a press conference at the Ministry of Information, Dr. Francis Kateh said the new disease has affected twenty-eight, killing twelve out of the twenty-eight.
“As of today there have been twenty-eight cases, out of the twenty-eight cases we have twelve deaths—ten deaths in Greenville and two deaths in Monrovia,” he said.
Dr. Kateh added that the Ministry of Health and the National Public Institute are working with other partners, including the Center for Disease Control (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO) to inform the public and the world that the Ministry is capable of diagnosing those cases that are prevalent, but requires time and careful investigation.
“As of tomorrow, a pathologist will be coming in the country to conduct an autopsy on two of the bodies that we have, and we have been discussing with the victims’ families to have this done,” he noted.
The Chief Medical officer said specimen of the strange disease has been sent to the United States, France, South Africa and other countries to help diagnose the kind of disease that emerged in the country, adding that those who perceive the disease to be Ebola are misinforming the public.
“Let us worry about what is going on and please, if it’s something that we need to understand, we will let the general public know. For now, we have basically informed the general public the only people we are concerned about are those who have participated in the activities in Greenville and not the general public,” he said.
Dr. Kateh used the occasion to call on all Liberians to keep calm, noting that there has been a huge improvement in the health sector.
“The health system is not great—we still have much to be done, but I think a lot has been done since the Ebola. We have triages, our water and sanitation have been improved at certain facilities, and then so much.
Health care workers are quick on what kind of diagnoses they give and how they react to treating people and they understand the infection prevention and control mechanism. These are things that have been done as improvement in the health sector,” he said.
“It is so sad when there are people working the whole day, they are not sleeping, people sit outside that know nothing about what others are going through and they sit there and castigate them, it is not fair."
"When it comes to medicine, we should not mix medicine with politics.”