The World Health Organization (WHO) announced on Friday, Nov. 20 that it has detected new cases of Ebola in Liberia. Three new cases emerged, involving a 10-year-old boy and two other family members, who all live near Liberia's capital, Monrovia.

The deadly virus has returned to the country after officials confirmed that the nation has gone disease-free in Sept. 3, 2015.

The report is a huge falldown for the nation as it has been struggling to eliminate the virus, which has killed approximately 11,300 people.

Health minister for Liberia, Bernice Dahn said the first patient newly diagnosed with Ebola lives with his parents and three other siblings in a suburb called Paynesville. He became sick on Saturday, Nov. 14 and went out for a medical consultation. He was admitted in Monrovia's John F. Kennedy Medical Center on Tuesday, Nov. 17 and was placed in isolation in an Ebola treatment unit, Wednesday, Nov. 18.

Test results were released on Thursday, Nov. 19 and came out positive.

Dahn said that the hospital is now decontaminating the area, where the boy was treated. She added that all the health care staff, who had contact with the patient have been informed.

Health officials have not yet identified how the patient got exposed to the virus. As per history review, he had no contact with a survivor, no travel to any affected locations and did not exude any other factors that health care experts commonly look for in determining the disease cause.

Meanwhile, two of his immediate family members (his father and brother) have also tested positive for Ebola.

At present, all six family members, as well as contacts determined to have a high disease risk, are being cared for at an Ebola treatment unit in the suburb.

"The family obviously is at particular risk and is being investigated right now," said Bruce Aylward, the head of the Ebola response team of WHO. He made this statement in a Geneva conference before the two other family members were also confirmed positive for the virus.

Now, Dahn encourages all concerned to stay alert and unify. "We know how Ebola spreads and we know how to stop Ebola but we must remain vigilant and work together," she said.

Statistics from WHO shows that since the disease was first declared in March 2014, over 10,600 cases of Ebola have been diagnosed in Liberia, of which 4,808 subsequently led to death.

ⓒ 2021 All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
Tags: Ebola Liberia