This report supersedes the one just below, describing the woman quarantined with her family at the Firestone Medical Centre. Via allAfrica.com, a report from FrontPageAfrica.com: Liberia: Two New Ebola Deaths in Liberia, Health Minister Confirms, Seven Total. Excerpt:
A woman confirmed to have traveled to the Firestone Plantation Camp in Liberia with the deadly Ebola virus has been pronounced dead.
Health and Social Welfare Minister Dr. Walter Gwenigale told the weekly Ministry of Information press briefing Thursday that the death now brings to total death in Liberia since the outbreak started to seven.
Said Dr. Gwenigale: "The lady we have been following from Foyah to Chicken Soup Factory died last night. That information you people should know. I told you before that she was traveling with a child from Foyah in the taxi, that child is now sick and is currently being quarantined and observed. We have a total of seven deaths now."
Dr. Gwenigale also revealed that another woman who was under observation in Foyah but taken away by her family under the guise of taking her to to her pastor, has also died.
"We first came and told you people that we had had four deaths, two in Foyah, two that came to Liberia, went back to Guinea and died there. Now we have added to those four, the lady who we were following in Firestone and the other lady that was in Foyah, so that will make it six. We are also adding to that list, a 25-year-old young man, who went to Tappita, he had fever for three days. At the time the doctors started to investigate, he started vomiting openly, so that makes it seven. We do not know whether all of these people are proven by laboratory tests, we do not know whether it is Ebola but by definition, we are treating them as if it is."
Minister Gwenigale said the health ministry is taking every rumor regarding the Ebola case with seriousness.
"Whatever rumor we get, we investigate it and if you have reliable rumor about somebody in Matadi or Congotown, let us get good information so we can follow these rumors because we don't want to take anything lightly. You know there are some of you people who are here are reporters who take information to your papers and it is somebody else that will use that information that you carry to put out what they want to put out. Others will say irrespective of what you say to them, they will write what they want to. We know some of those. If you do not want to help us, don't undermine us."
Dr. Gwenigale dismissed suggestions that the ministry has been somersaulting in dispensing information regarding the Ebola spread. "Now, this language when I use it people say I've somersaulted. But we are treating each case as a suspect only. When we have confirmed it by laboratory tests, then we can say we have it. The fact that we are treating it as it is Ebola prevents the spread so that others may not be contaminated."
Dr. Gwenigale said the ministry is also looking into another report from Grand Gedeh involving a Bassa man who died suddenly.
"People thought he was dealing with an animal that got caught in the trap or something. We do not have all the facts but any death that is sudden, we have to investigate it and you people are the ones that can help us."