Ministry Of Health
New Ebola Case Continuation Of Outbreak In West Africa - Dr. Kateh
By Prince Nagbe, LINA
MONROVIA, July 10 (LINA) – Liberia’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Francis Kateh, has said the recent Ebola outbreak in Margibi County is a continuation of the ongoing Ebola virus in West Africa and not a separate introduction from a reservoir population.
The information released by Dr. Kateh at a press conference in Monrovia Friday follows an investigation conducted into the new Ebola outbreak by the Liberian Institute for Biomedical Research, United States Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) and the Ministry of Health.
Dr. Kateh disclosed that the institutions completed nearly 99 percent coverage of genomes that were obtained from both the body swab and blood taken from the index patient posthumously.
The Chief Medical Officer noted that following series of laboratory tests both sequences prove to be identical and are consistent with the area where the recent outbreak occurred, representing a continuation of the ongoing Ebola Virus in West Africa.
He indicated that the sequence matches with previous isolates from Liberia and is distinct from the viruses currently circulating in Sierra Leone and Guinea.
Kateh added that the level of sequence divergence between this case and previous isolates is significantly lower than is expected based on the date of isolation and outbreak-wide estimates of the virus’ rate of evolution.
It can be recalled on June 28, three months after the last reported Ebola victim in Liberia was buried, a 17-year-old boy died of the virus in a small village in Margibi County.
Since then, four others associated with this case have tested positive and are undergoing treatment at the ELWA Ebola Treatment Unit in Paynesville.
Meanwhile, sequencing of the other cases associated with this flare-up outbreak is ongoing as the Ministry of Health has placed 14 people in the area at higher risk.