Death Toll from Unknown Disease in Sinoe Rises to 10

GREENVILLE, Sinoe — At least 10 people have been reported dead as a result of an unknown disease in Greenville, Sinoe.

According to Liberia’s chief medical officer, Dr. Francis Kateh, an additional eight affected patients are being isolated at the J. F. Grant Hospital in Greenville.

Kateh told state radio ELBC on Thursday that the Ministry of Health has deployed additional teams from Monrovia in the affected area with a specific investigation approach, and are working to find the culprits of the disease.

He said four residents of Monrovia who went to bury their dead relatives are suspected to have contracted the disease.

According to Kateh, based on initial investigations and the signs and symptoms presented by those affected, the Ministry has ruled out Ebola as the cause of deaths.

“We have gathered additional specimens and are working with other line agencies, most especially the police, in toxicology analysis,” he said. “We want to know if it’s a toxin involved.”

The investigation, he said, will take some time.

Other reports from Greenville say the victims suffered from stomach pain before succumbing to the unknown illness.

Meanwhile, Kateh has cautioned the public to continue practicing all preventive measures instituted by the Ministry that helped to contain the spread of Ebola.

He stressed that people must wash their hands frequently, as well as report sicknesses and deaths of relatives.

Liberia was struck by the Ebola Virus Disease in 2014, a strange disease that claimed an estimated 4,500 lives in Liberia.

Although the country now boasts of a more resilient health system, residents are expressing fear that the current situation in the southeast may lead to more deaths if it is not handled quickly and with caution.

An Ebola survivor in Margibi told The Bush Chicken that it was a similar situation that caused many residents in Dolo Town to lose their lives to Ebola.

“I can remember when ours started in Dolo town, the belief was that people ate poison at a repast,” he said.

Featured photo by Zeze Ballah

Gbatemah Senah

Gbatemah is currently a senior student at the University of Liberia and a recipient of the Jonathan P. Hicks Scholarship for Mass Communications. In 2017, Senah won three Press Union of Liberia awards: Women's Rights Reporter of the Year, Legislative Reporter of the Year, and Land Rights Reporter of the Year.

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