Press Release- May 5, 2017

Monrovia, Liberia, May 4, 2017- The Ministry of Health, National Public Health Institute and partners are exerting all efforts to address the situation of unexplained cluster of illness deaths in Sinoe County. The teams are exerting all efforts to ensure that the situation is controlled in the soonest possible time.

As of the 3rd of May 2017, a total of twenty (28) cases including Twelve (12) deaths have been reported.  (26) Cases were reported from Sinoe county and two (2) from Montserrado. There are six(6) lives cases in admission , stable and undergoing treatment in J.F Grant Hospital in Sinoe. Up to press  time five (5) have been discharged and integrated in communities.

The common signs and symptoms include signs  headache, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and mental confusion .

As of the 3rd ,29 samples have been collected and tested at the  Liberia Institute of Bio-medical Research (LIBR), Charlesville, Margibi County. 18 tested with negative RESULT for EVD and Lassa fever.  Samples have been transported for further investigation at international laboratory in the USA and France. Samples will also be sent to South Africa for testing . These efforts are supported by the US Center for Disease Control, the World Health Organization and MSF-France

A pathologist is arriving in county tomorrow to conduct autopsy on the bodies of the two cases identified in Montserrado. The MOH and NPHIL is also working closely with the Ministry of Justice ,LNP and WHO for this process.

The County Health Team and local authorities with the support of the National Teams continue to coordinate the response activities.

Contacts of cases and attendees to the funeral are being closely monitored across 7 counties .

All bodies of cases have been buried in collaboration with the families by the burial teams in a safe and dignified manner.

Meanwhile, the Ministry and its partners are encouraging the public not to panic but to continue to take the following preventive measures:

  • Report any deaths or sickness to the county health team and local authorities in any county especially Montserrado and Sinoe counties.
  • People who are having signs and symptoms should report to the nearest health facilities and should do self-treatment
  • Prayer houses and traditional healers should report to the local authorities persons presenting to them with the signs and symptoms
  • Reinforce hand washing practices
  • For those persons who die and are linked to the unexplained cluster of illness and death in Sinoe, the Ministry of Health burial team will work with the families of persons who died and are linked to the unexplained cluster of illness and death in Sinoe,

The Ministry of Health and NPHIL will keep the public updated as the situation unfolds.