On March 17 the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed two new cases of Ebola in the Guinean village of Koropara, involving a mother and her five-year-old son.
The country's Ebola coordination unit has since recorded three deaths and identified an estimated 816 people who recently may have come into contact with the virus. The villagers are being quarantined in their homes for 21 days to make sure they are Ebola-free. Guinea is believed to be the epicenter of the worst Ebola outbreak on record. Since it began in 2013, more than 28,600 people have been infected and 11,300 killed, with almost all the deaths occurring in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Against the latest Ebola resurgence in neighboring Guinea, the Liberian government has announced closure of its border with Guinea. Liberian Information minister Lenn Eugene Nagbe disclosed to Capitol Times last night that government’s decision is precautionary to prevent spread of the disease until the situation in Guinea improves. The need for precaution is indeed important in containing spread of the deadly Ebola disease, which seems as elusive as a mole that goes underground and resurfaces at will. The case of Pauline Cafferkey, a Scottish nurse who served in Sierra Leone during the Ebola outbreak is exemplary. Nine months following her recovery, nurse Cafferkey recently started developing late complications of Ebola, with the virus now wrecking havoc on her immune system. Even in Liberia, there have been reports of Ebola survivors experiencing a whole range of maladies including back pain, hearing loss, meningitis, seizures, and sometimes, suicidal tendencies. Despite the general fear of Ebola that still persist among the citizenry, the good thing is that people are now more aware about how to avoid catching the disease in case of an outbreak. The widespread belief that Ebola was a government-hatched scare tactic to siphon funds from the international community no longer applies. With communities around the country more aware about the disease, what needs to be done, as Ebola resurfaces around us, is for the citizens to step up those protocols and preventative regimes that made Liberia the first among the three West African hotspots to beat Ebola. For us at Capitol Times, government must ensure that no stones are left unturned in cutting off the disease’s long tail.