New Ebola case diagnosed in Liberia raises concerns

New Ebola case diagnosed in Liberia raises concerns

Worries have widened in recent days over the number of people in Liberia who may have been exposed to the country’s first Ebola case in more than two weeks, a street vendor who lived in a one-bathroom house shared with 52 others in a Monrovia suburb and who had sold food at a school where more than 1,900 students are enrolled.

New Ebola case in Liberia: Ruth Tugbah, left, and her daughter, Beneta Kun
Ebola patient in Liberia: Ruth Tugbah, left, and her daughter, Beneta Kun

The patient, identified as Ruth Tugbah, 44, had been in contact with a range of people, including her children and a pastor who had sought to comfort her, after she developed a fever and was contagious, aid workers said Tuesday.

Ms. Tugbah received a diagnosis of Ebola on Friday, ending a short-lived period of optimism that Liberia would be the first of three afflicted West African countries to emerge from the worst epidemic of the deadly virus in history.

More than 10,000 people have died in the past year from Ebola, nearly all of them in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. Liberia has made the most progress toward recovery.

On Tuesday the patient’s 18-year-old daughter, Beneta Kun, developed a headache and weakness and was taken to an Ebola treatment unit for testing, aid workers in Liberia reported.

“She was crying, especially when she had to enter the ambulance,” said Iris Martor, program director of the charity More Than Me, which operates the school Ms. Kun attended. “It was so sad. It was the only thing we could do.”

Ms. Martor said the girl, who bathed her mother when she was ill, and other family members considered high-risk contacts were isolated Monday and were being monitored.

“They were paying attention to her and asking her all the right questions,” Katie Meyler, founder of More Than Me, said in a telephone interview.

Nigeria was declared Ebola-free by WHO in October 2014, but the new outbreak in Liberia is an alert that the virus could still reinfect the country.

 Source: New York Times


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