Liberian official: Seven more deaths linked to Ebola

June 17, 2014 by Jonathan Paye-Layleh
People protest outside a hospital as Liberia President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf visits the area after Ebola deaths in Monrovia, Liberia, Tuesday, June 17, 2014. Seven people believed to have the Ebola virus have died in recent days in the first deaths reported in the Liberian capital since the outbreak began, a health official said Tuesday. (AP Photo/Jonathan Paye-Layleh)

Seven people believed to have the Ebola virus have died in recent days in the first deaths reported in the Liberian capital since the outbreak began, a health official said Tuesday.

Deputy Health Minister Tolbert Nyenswah told The Associated Press that brings to 16 the number of people believed to have died from the virus in the West African country. Four of the deaths were confirmed by tests to be Ebola, he said.

The deaths, recorded since June 8, are worrying because no new cases had been confirmed in Liberia in about two months. Nyenswah said the new wave of cases was believed to have begun on May 30. The virus, which causes severe bleeding and high fevers, has continued to ravage neighboring Guinea in that time and has spread to Sierra Leone.

"The first phase of the epidemic was contained," said Nyenswah. "But because of proximity to Guinea and Sierra Leone, we did not declare outbreak over."

Other officials have previously downplayed the significance of the virus jumping borders, saying that it is to be expected since people travel and trade frequently across the borders of the three countries.

One of the seven deaths was a woman who had recently traveled from an infected area in Sierra Leone and is believed to have passed the disease on to others in the house where she was staying in Monrovia.

Fear of the disease, which has no known cure, appears to have helped its spread. There have been several reports of relatives taking sick loved ones out of isolation wards; that makes the work of stopping the disease's spread harder.

Empty hospital beds are seen at Redemption hospital after nurses and patients fled the hospital due to Ebola deaths in Monrovia, Liberia, Tuesday, June 17, 2014. Seven people believed to have the Ebola virus have died in recent days in the first deaths reported in the Liberian capital since the outbreak began, a health official said Tuesday. (AP Photo/Jonathan Paye-Layleh)

At one hospital on the outskirts of Monrovia, staff and patients fled after the death Saturday of a nurse. On Tuesday, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf visited the hospital and met with a few nurses who came back to the hospital to mourn their colleague. But the beds were still empty, and most of the staff have stayed away.

The outbreak appears to have begun in neighboring Guinea, where the vast majority of the cases and deaths have been recorded. Amara Jambai of Sierra Leone's Ministry of Health said Tuesday that the number of confirmed deaths from Ebola in his country has risen to 20 in recent days.

The new deaths reported in Liberia and Sierra Leone would push the World Health Organization's death toll for the current outbreak to over 250. There is no vaccine and no known cure for Ebola, which causes severe bleeding, although proper care can increase the survival rate.

Explore further: Sierra Leone reports two Ebola deaths, 12 cases

Related Stories

Sierra Leone reports two Ebola deaths, 12 cases

May 30, 2014
Health officials in Sierra Leone say there have been two deaths from Ebola and a dozen other cases of the deadly disease.

Sierra Leone Ebola outbreak death toll now five

June 3, 2014
A British mining company says some of its personnel have left Sierra Leone amid an outbreak of the Ebola disease that has killed at least five people.

Sierra Leone doubles Ebola death toll

June 9, 2014
Sierra Leone doubled its death toll from the highly contagious Ebola virus on Monday, as international aid organisations struggled to contain the deadly epidemic gripping west Africa.

Sierra Leone raises Ebola death toll

June 2, 2014
Sierra Leone raised its death toll from the highly contagious Ebola virus on Monday, sparking fears that the deadly epidemic gripping west Africa is spreading.

Sierra Leone declares Ebola emergency in district

June 12, 2014
The Sierra Leone government announced a state of emergency in the Kailahun district from the outbreak of the Ebola virus which has claimed 17 lives in this West African nation, banning public gatherings and closing schools.

Second person dies from Ebola virus in Sierra Leone

May 28, 2014
Sierra Leone Wednesday confirmed a second death from the Ebola virus, as the WHO warned of possible further contagion as others sick with the haemorrhagic fever had been moved out of isolation and back to their village.

Recommended for you

Google searches can be used to track dengue in underdeveloped countries

July 20, 2017
An analytical tool that combines Google search data with government-provided clinical data can quickly and accurately track dengue fever in less-developed countries, according to new research published in PLOS Computational ...

MRSA emerged years before methicillin was even discovered

July 19, 2017
Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) emerged long before the introduction of the antibiotic methicillin into clinical practice, according to a study published in the open access journal Genome Biology. It was ...

New test distinguishes Zika from similar viral infections

July 18, 2017
A new test is the best-to-date in differentiating Zika virus infections from infections caused by similar viruses. The antibody-based assay, developed by researchers at UC Berkeley and Humabs BioMed, a private biotechnology ...

'Superbugs' study reveals complex picture of E. coli bloodstream infections

July 18, 2017
The first large-scale genetic study of Escherichia coli (E. coli) cultured from patients with bloodstream infections in England showed that drug resistant 'superbugs' are not always out-competing other strains. Research by ...

Ebola virus can persist in monkeys that survived disease, even after symptoms disappear

July 17, 2017
Ebola virus infection can be detected in rhesus monkeys that survive the disease and no longer show symptoms, according to research published by Army scientists in today's online edition of the journal Nature Microbiology. ...

Mountain gorillas have herpes virus similar to that found in humans

July 13, 2017
Scientists from the University of California, Davis, have detected a herpes virus in wild mountain gorillas that is very similar to the Epstein-Barr virus in humans, according to a study published today in the journal Scientific ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.