SUSPECT CASES OF EBOLA IN LIBERIA

H/2888
11 December 1995

SUSPECT CASES OF EBOLA IN LIBERIA

11 December 1995


Press Release
H/2888


SUSPECT CASES OF EBOLA IN LIBERIA

19951211 GENEVA, 11 December (World Health Organization) -- The international team of experts led by the World Health Organization (WHO) continues to investigate hospital and village contacts of the confirmed case of Ebola hemorrhagic fever in the Tabou Prefecture (south of the Tai National Park) of Cote d'Ivoire.

The confirmed case is a 25 year-old refugee from neighbouring Liberia who was admitted to the health facility of the Cote d'Ivoire village of Gozon, 15 kilometers from the border. The patient is isolated and all precautions have been taken to ensure that the infection will not spread in or from the health facility. The man appears to be recovering.

Yesterday, the five-member team visited the household of the confirmed case which is located in Plibo village in Liberia's Maryland County. The man lived there with three other men and two women, one of whom was his wife. The team found that two of the three men were sick with fever and extreme fatigue, which could be signs and symptoms of early Ebola infection. Both have been isolated in their home. The third, believed to be sick as well, had left the household prior to investigation. His whereabouts are being traced. The health status of these contacts is being investigated.

Of the two women, one has been hospitalized in Cote d'Ivoire with symptoms which could be Ebola fever. The other one, the wife of the confirmed Ebola case, was not in the household when the team visited. Her whereabouts are likewise being traced. Samples of blood from the two sick men and the woman were taken and sent to the Institute Pasteur in Abidjan where serological hospitalized tests will be conducted by the team.

Maryland County, where the village of the confirmed Ebola case is situated, is controlled by the National Patriotic Front of Liberia. The NPFL gave its permission for the WHO team to enter the area and carry out the Ebola case investigation. Soldiers of the NPLF also informed the team members that there had been recent deaths in River Bay, another village in the vicinity of Plibo. The WHO team is thoroughly investigating this information and is in River Bay today. Tomorrow, the team will return to the village of Plibo to check the household contacts of the Ebola case again.

- 2 - H/2888 11 December 1995

The health authorities of Cote d'Ivoire, WHO experts, team members from Medecins sans Frontieres and EpiCentre (Paris) are working with health workers of the Tabou region to ensure they are aware of the early symptoms of Ebola infection and the public health measures to control it.

There is no indication at this juncture that international travel to and from Cote d'Ivoire or Liberia should be interrupted.

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For information media. Not an official record.