Liberia records 2 new cases of disease amidst fears of another epidemic

Health authorities said said both new cases came from the same village in the coastal county of Margibi where the latest outbreak emerged.

Health authorities in Liberia today (Thursday) reported 2 new cases of the dreaded Ebola disease, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 5.

They further said both new cases, who are being treated in the capital Monrovia, came from the same village in the coastal county of Margibi where the latest outbreak emerged.

It would be recalled that on June 30th, Liberia announced that a 17-year old boy had died from the disease, marking the first case in the country in the 3 months since it was declared Ebola-free.

Reports say the newly-infected pair had been in contact with 149 people, the vast majority in Margibi but 17 in neighbouring Montserrado County, which includes Monrovia, a city of around one million people.

The source of the new outbreak remains a mystery, with the WHO describing the cluster as “separate” from the main epidemic.

Experts have speculated that the teenager may have been infected by an entirely new variant of the virus from an animal, rather than from a human.

Earlier in the week,a dog which had been speculatedto be the source of the second Ebola outbreak in Liberia tested negative to the disease.

Locals in Margibi say the boy had cooked and eaten a recently deceased dog shortly before falling ill, and local and international media had been rife with speculation that this was the source.

Liberia’s Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued a statement however saying it had not ruled out the dog hypothesis inspite of the early negative test result.

It however added that "the Ministry of Health, together with CDC, was also investigating all other possible transmission routes — sexual transmission, eating infected bush meat, or unsafe burial because the boy might have travelled to ”

Ebola killed more than 4,800 Liberians before it was declared Ebola-free.

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