IT HAS BEEN reported that the Ebola virus, which was first discovered in Central African Republic in the 60’s has now been identified as the cause of an outbreak of haemorrhagic fever now believed to have killed nearly 60 people in southern Guinea. The report said scores of cases have been recorded since the outbreak began early last month.
THE REPORT SAID that since its discovery, there is no known cure or vaccine for the highly contagious virus and that it is spread by close personal contact with people who are infected and has killed between 25% and 90% of victims. Its symptoms include internal and external bleeding, diarrhoea and vomiting and experts say the outbreaks of Ebola occur primarily in remote villages in Central and West Africa, near tropical rainforests. Recent years have seen outbreaks in Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo.
ON THE SITUATION in Guinea, it is believed that it has never been recorded there before. Guinean health ministry official, Sakoba Keita, told AFP that his country got the first results from Lyon last Friday which informed the country of the presence of the Ebola virus as the cause of this outbreak and that the Ebola fever epidemic raging in southern Guinea since 9 February has left at least 59 dead out of 80 cases identified by their services on the ground.
ALSO, ACCORDING TO reports, Medical aid charity Medecins sans Frontieres said on Saturday it would strengthen its team in Guinea and fly some 33 tonnes of drugs and isolation equipment in from Belgium and France. Dr Armand Sprecher, an emergency physician and epidemiologist working with MSF in Guinea, told the BBC that doctors had to identify all patients with the disease and monitor anyone they had been in contact with during their illness.
OF SERIOUS CONCERN also, are reports of the likelihood that the virus has already reached neighboring Sierra Leone.
AS EXPECTED, SINCE the news of the outbreak of the virus in Guinea and its likelihood of spreading in neighboring Sierra Leone, many Liberians have expressed serious concern, and have therefore called on the Government of Liberia to be proactive in taking preventive measures in case of its possible spread to this country.
INDEED, THERE ARE reasons for concern considering the proximity of those two countries to Liberia. Already, it is a known fact that given the country’s broken infrastructures, coupled with the lack of or poor medical facilities, as well as the inaccessibility of many parts of this country; it is prudent for this government to avoid “a wait-and-see” situation to the detriment of the country.
AS IT IS often said that if your neighbor’s home is on fire, it is therefore expedient to take precautionary action to avoid the situation in those two neighboring countries hence, it is necessary that the situation in Guinea that has already claimed many lives and that it is also spreading to Sierra Leone, claim our authorities’ concern.
WE CALL ON the government to seriously monitor the situation and keep an eagle’s eye on those countries about this virus, which since its discovery, there is no known cure or vaccine for the highly contagious virus that it is spread by close personal contact with people who are infected and has killed between 25% and 90% of victims for which there has been no cure.
LET THE GOVERNMENT be proactive about this for its citizenry by taking appropriate and necessary measures.