Friday, November 20, 2015

Liberia Reports First New Ebola Cases In Three Months

Sad and surprising news to report -- from Africa: even as Guinea has begun a "disease arrested" countdown to December 18, 2015 (according to W.H.O.), a surprise Ebola infection case -- this time, of a ten year old boy -- appeared literally overnight, in Liberia. UPDATED: two of his family members are also infected, according to New York Times reporters -- in tomorrow's print edition. That brings the new total to three.

In one other shining bit of good news, though -- Sierra Leone remains disease free.

It is -- as with all epidemics -- two steps ahead; one back -- but the trend is clearly encouraging. From this morning's New York Times, then -- a bit:

. . . .Three members of a family in Liberia have contracted Ebola, two months after the country was declared free of the virus, health officials said on Friday.

The first documented case in the family was a 10-year-old boy who started showing symptoms last week, said a Liberian health official, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

After attending school on Monday and Tuesday, the boy was admitted to a hospital and was transported to an Ebola treatment unit on Wednesday, the official said.

The boy’s test came back positive on Thursday, as did subsequent tests for his father and a sibling, the official said, adding that at least seven health care workers may have treated him without the protective equipment essential for Ebola cases. The World Health Organization declared Liberia free of Ebola on May 9, but a resurgence of the disease the next month sickened four people, two of whom died. The country was declared Ebola-free again on Sept. 3. . . .

My recent Liberia backgrounder here. As with all difficult, but life affirming scientific endeavors, we remain optimistic, and confident: new life -- new hope -- will. . . inexorably prevail. Onward, toward a holiday-shortened next week. Do treat one another well.

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