MONROVIA, March 24 (LINA) - The Ministry of Health has confirmed the death of five persons suspected to have contracted the deadly Ebola hemorrhagic fever in Lofa County.
Making the disclosure at a special press briefing at the Ministry of Information on Monday, Liberia's Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Bernice Dahn, said all of the five suspected cases were people who came from Guinea for treatment at hospitals in Foya and Zorzor Districts in Lofa County.
According to the Liberia News Agency, Dr. Dahn said four of the dead are female adults, while the fifth casualty was a male child.
Meanwhile, according to Dr. Dahn, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and its partners have dispatched an assessment team to Lofa County, to investigate the situation by tracing contacts, collecting blood samples and sensitizing local health authorities about the disease.
According to Dr. Dahn, the assessment team also took with them protective equipment such as face masks, gloves and goggles to protect health workers in affected facilities.
She told the press conference that the team also took with them chlorine to disinfect the affected hospitals, as surveillance along the border is being strengthened.
The current outbreak of the deadly hemorrhagic Ebola Disease, according to Dr. Dahn, started in the Guinean towns of Guekedou, Nzerekore, Kissidougou and Macenta which are very close to the Liberian border.
The Chief Medical Officer then called on Liberians to avoid direct contact with body fluids of infected or dead people as well as physical contacts such as kissing and handshakes.
She also advised Liberians in the affected areas to wash their hands frequently, avoid direct contacts or consumption of animals such as fruit bats and monkeys, and to always chlorinate their drinking water in order to prevent this deadly disease.
According to Dr. Dahn, sudden onset of fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat followed by vomiting, diarrhea, rash, impaired kidney and liver function, as well as internal and external bleeding are all symptoms of the deadly Ebola virus and as such, persons suspected to be suffering from Ebola should be taken to the nearest health center immediately.