Liberia: Health Authorities Heightened Surveillance Following Confirmed Cases of EVD in Guinea
Monrovia – Following the confirmation of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in seven patients and three deaths in Guinea, the Government of Liberia has heightened surveillance in the country, with specific attention placed on counties bordering Guinea.
On Sunday, February 14, 2021, health authority in Guinea confirmed and declared an outbreak of EVD in seven patients, connected to the burial ceremony of a nurse who died on January 28, 2021 and buried on February 1, 2021 in Goueké.
According to a release from the Government of the Republic of Guinea, N’Zérékoré Prefectural Health Directorate suspected cases of Ebola with symptoms of diarrhea, vomiting and bleeding in people who attended the burial of the nurse at the Goueké Health Centre. The cases are all above 25 years of age (4 males and 3 females), including 3 deaths (2 females and 1 male). All the cases are linked to the funeral of the nurse.
In preparedness, the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL), the Ministry of Health (MoH), and the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), using the One Health Platform, have dispatched rapid teams comprising Epidemiologists (human and animal), Laboratory Technologists, Risk Communicators, Infection, Prevention and Control (IPC) Specialists, to support the County Health Teams in Nimba, Lofa and Grand Mount Counties. Infection, Prevention and Control (IPC) supplies are also prepositioned to bordering counties.
Ebola virus disease (EVD) is a rare zoonotic disease but severe, often fatal illness in humans. The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission.
This is the first outbreak of EVD since the 2014 – 2016 devastating outbreak in the region which claimed over 11,000 lives.
Though there is NO CASE OF EVD currently in Liberia, NPHIL, MoH and MoA encourage the public to take the following public health measures:
- Avoid mass gathering.
- Avoid hand shaking.
- Continuously wash your hands with soap and clean water.
- Avoid contacts with sick persons and animals.
- Report all suspected cases to a nearby health facility or call 4455 (toll free)
Meanwhile, the Director General of the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL) has reassured the Institute’s readiness to work with MoH and partners to promptly handle the situation. These are critical times, let’s follow all public health preventive measures to keep our population safe.