Health Ministry Embarks On Vigorous Ebola Alert

The authorities of the Health Ministry in Liberia have declared that they are stepping up surveillance efforts at the border ports with La Côte d’Ivoire following the first reported case of Ebola in that country in nearly 30 years.

Speaking on Tuesday, August 18, 2021, Liberia’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Francis Kateh announced that the government has a strong level of surveillance systems in place to curb a spillover of the Ebola virus from La Côte d’Ivoire.

Dr. Kateh said health authorities in Liberia are being briefed daily by their Ivorian counterparts on the situation in that country.

He said they are also being briefed daily by their counterparts from La Ivory Coast with regards to the situation there, and based on the concerns, and that they have begun to raise the alert levels.

The Chief Medical Officer of Liberia stated that the government is very serious about monitoring the situation, because the virus is deadly and spreads through contact.

According to him, a system is in place and added that what the government is doing is by working with local county health authorities, and also educating people along the border ports, and towns, about the outbreak.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health, Public Hygiene and Universal Health Coverage of the Ivory Coast made it known that early this week the country launched Ebola vaccination for high-risk populations, including front-line health workers, and first responders in Abidjan, where the Ebola outbreak was declared on August 14, 2021.

The country was able to swiftly begin vaccinations on August 16 with the Ebola vaccine manufactured by Merck, as the vaccine doses that the World Health Organization (WHO) helped secure to fight a four-month-long outbreak in Guinea were sent quickly by Guinea to Cote d’Ivoire.

At the same time, the WHO country office in La Cote d’Ivoire has revealed that in addition to the confirmed case, one suspected case and 9 contacts have been identified and are being monitored, as no deaths have been reported.

WHO added that there is no indication that the current outbreak in Cote d’Ivoire is linked with the one that occurred in Guinea, adding that further analysis and genomic sequencing will help determine any connection.

Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea were badly hit during the 2014 to 2016 Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa, which killed more than 11,000 people.

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