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Liberia - Hemorrhagic (Mystery?) Fever Breaks
Out After Funeral Of Religious Leader

By Patricia Doyle PhD

Hello Jeff... Maybe now we will learn what disease they are bringing to the US with the CDC Ebola planes.

Of course they are being very quiet on the pathogen and calling it a 'mystery illness'.  There are 11 dead so far and 5 more in hospital.  The description of the illness is 'HEMORRHAGIC fever'.   The outbreak began as a result of traditional African burial of a religious leader.  After the massive Ebola outbreak in Liberia in 2014, one would think any reasonable society would change its risky funeral and burial rites. Guess the Liberians are not reasonable in their thinking.

Thus far, we have the WHO being cautious and stating the pathogen is negative for Ebola.  Samples have finally been sent out for reevaluation and hopefully a definite diagnosis will be forthcoming.  It is possible that it is Ebola or Marburg.  It could also be Cholera.  Either way, I hope that the US, Canada, Europe and Australia stop taking in refugees…especially after this outbreak.

While the investigation and tests of the pathogen are ongoing, I think it is reckless to take in ANY refugees or 'travelers'  from Liberia.  We do not know what we shall find but it does appear this disease is highly-contagious.


Date: Fri 28 Apr 2017 9:59am EDT
Source: Reuters

Liberian officials said on [Fri 28 Apr 2017] 11 people have died and 5 are in hospital after contracting a mystery illness the World Health Organization (WHO) said was linked to attendance at the funeral of a religious leader.

"We are still investigating. The only thing we have ruled out is ... Ebola," said Liberia's Chief Medical Officer Francis Kateh, adding samples from the victims had been sent abroad for further testing.

On [Wed 26 Apr 2017], the WHO said Liberian health authorities were taking rapid precautionary steps after 8 people died of a mystery illness, 10 months after the end of a 2-year Ebola virus outbreak.

"It seems all of these people were attending the funeral of a religious leader," WHO spokeswoman Fadela Chaib told a briefing in Geneva.

"They have taken samples from the dead bodies and all the samples came back negative for Ebola. They will be looking of course for other hemorrhagic fevers and for bacteria, if there was any common exposure to water contamination or food contamination," she said.

Up to 5 people remain under observation in hospital in Sinoe county, a 4-hour drive southeast of the capital Monrovia, and 4 have been discharged, Kateh said. The symptoms include fever, vomiting and diarrhea, said Chaib.

Hospital staff is wearing protective equipment and contacts of the sick are being traced in the community to see if they have fallen ill, she added.

"WHO, CDC (U.S. Centers for Disease Control) and other partners are providing technical and logistical support to the rapid response team that has been activated at district and county levels," Chaib said.

In June last year [2016], the WHO declared Liberia free of active Ebola virus transmission, the last of 3 West African countries at the epicenter of the world's worst outbreak of the disease. The epidemic killed more than 11 300 people and infected some 28 600 from 2013 as it swept through Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, according to WHO data.

A WHO advisory group of vaccine experts is due later on [Fri 28 Apr 2017] to issue their findings after a 3-day regular meeting on vaccines. The statement would include an update on "efficacy, safety and timelines for licensing Ebola vaccines", Chaib said.

[Byline: Stephanie Nebehay]