Liberia was declared ebola free in September, and earlier this week I posted about the recovery of the last ebola case in Guinea. However, a new case of ebola has been reported in Liberia, stressing the difficulty of ending the most deadly ebola outbreak in history. Above is an image from WHO from earlier in the week, showing the difference a year can make, although the graphic does not capture this new ebola case in Liberia.
A new case of Ebola emerged in Liberia on Friday in a setback for the country declared free of the disease on Sept. 3 and for the region, which is struggling to end an epidemic that has killed around 11,300 people.
The patient is a 10-year-old boy who lived with his parents and three siblings in Paynesville, a suburb east of the capital Monrovia, said Minister of Health Minister Bernice Dahn.
All six family members, as well as other high risk contacts, were in care at an Ebola Treatment Unit in Paynesville, Dahn said.
Great news, the World Health Organization has officially declared that the Ebola outbreak in LIberia is over! From the WHO:
Today, 9 May 2015, WHO declares Liberia free of Ebola virus transmission. Forty-two days have passed since the last laboratory-confirmed case was buried on 28 March 2015. The outbreak of Ebola virus disease in Liberia is over.
This is a huge improvement and major achievement for the nation. However, the threat of Ebola still persists as some neighboring countries still have cases being reported:
While WHO is confident that Liberia has interrupted transmission, outbreaks persist in neighbouring Guinea and Sierra Leone, creating a high risk that infected people may cross into Liberia over the region’s exceptionally porous borders.
The government is fully aware of the need to remain on high alert and has the experience, capacity, and support from international partners to do so. WHO will maintain an enhanced staff presence in Liberia until the end of the year as the response transitions from outbreak control, to vigilance for imported cases, to the recovery of essential health services.
For the full statement and a summary of the tragedy, Continue reading
Obama gave a speech today at the CDC about the threat posed by the West African Ebola Outbreak and what the US government is doing to help the affected countries.
“If the outbreak is not stopped now, we could be looking at hundreds of thousands of people affected, with profound economic, political and security implications for all of us,” Obama said Tuesday after briefings at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Emory University.
“It’s a potential threat to global security if these countries break down,” Obama said, speaking of the hardest-hit countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. At least 2,400 people have died, with Liberia bearing the brunt.
President Obama outlined multiple parts of the US plan to fight the outbreak. In the video of the speech (which CauseScience posted previously), Obama also commented on working to leave the affected countries better prepared to deal with outbreaks in the future, as well as asking congress to provide support for US research into treatments and vaccines.
—Send 3,000 U.S. military personnel to the stricken region
—Train as many as 500 health care workers a week.
—Erect 17 heath care facilities in Liberia of 100 beds each.
—Set up a joint command headquartered in Monrovia, Liberia, to coordinate U.S. and international relief efforts.
—Provide home health care kits to hundreds of thousands, including 50,000 that the U.S. Agency for International Development will deliver to Liberia this week.
—Carry out a home- and community-based campaign to train local populations on handling exposed patients.
USAID Press Office (@USAIDPress) September 04, 2014
The USAID reported on twitter that it will donate $75 million to fight the Ebola outbreak in Liberia. Bloomberg news has more info here.
The American aid agency announced Thursday it would donate $75 million to fund 1,000 more beds in Ebola treatment centers in Liberia and buy 130,000 more protective suits for health care workers.
The $75 million comes in addition to about $20 million the agency has already donated to fight the outbreak that was first identified in March in Guinea, and has spread to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. The killer virus is spread through bodily fluids such as blood, sweat, urine or diarrhea.