Liberia works to contain Ebola, find source of new cases
MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) Liberia is working hard to contain Ebola and find the source of the latest infections of the deadly virus recorded this week.
The West African country previously succeeded in containing the outbreak, despite being initially the hardest hit with more than 4,800 deaths. The last recorded case before this latest emergence was on March 20, according to the World Health Organization.
"We will contain it quickly because of where we are in the learning curve as far as Ebola is concerned," said Dr. Philip Ireland at the John F. Kennedy Medical Center in the capital, Monrovia.
Ebola was found on the corpse of a 17-year-old boy who died Sunday. Two new cases have been linked to the teen, the only two known cases as of Friday, said Liberia Ebola response chief Tolbert Nyenswah.
WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris said Friday there is strong community engagement in Nedowein, where the new cases were found.
"We still have to determine the source of this infection," she said. Investigations include speaking with community members, mobilizing experts and genetic sequencing, she said.
"We're looking at the genetics of the virus to see how closely it is related to viruses we're seeing in Guinea, in Sierra Leone or in previous chains of infection in Liberia," she said.
She praised Liberia's continued high alert and surveillance, saying that is how the country detected these latest cases.
Authorities have traced about 175 people who had contact with the dead teen, who first became ill June 21 and went to a local health facility where he was treated for malaria and discharged.
Experts warned the risk of Ebola remained in Liberia until it was eradicated in Sierra Leone and Guinea. The majority of the more than 11,200 deaths come from these three countries.
Petesch reported from Dakar, Senegal.