Member of UN mission in Liberia hit by Ebola
United Nations, Dec 5 (IANS) A military personnel of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) has tested positive for Ebola and is undergoing treatment in Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, a UN spokesman has revealed.
Liberia is one of the three countries in West Africa that have been hit the hardest by the outbreak of Ebola early this year, the other two countries being Sierra Leone and Guinea.
“In line with the established World Health Organisation (WHO) protocols, the medical team of UNMIL had conducted an immediate and robust contact tracing to ensure that all those who had come into contact with the (affected) individual while he was symptomatic were assessed and quarantined,” said the UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric.
“Sixteen contacts have been identified to date,” he said. “All areas where the individual is known to have been while being symptomatic have now been decontaminated,” he said.
“This is the third case of Ebola in the mission, with one confirmed case and another probable case earlier. Both (the cases) resulted in the death of the staff members,” said the spokesman.
The Ebola disease, formerly known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever, is a severe, often fatal illness in humans. It is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in humans through direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person.
Symptoms of the disease typically start between two days and three weeks after contracting the virus.
In the beginning, the symptoms may range from fever, sore throat, muscle pain and headache.
Then, vomiting and diarrhea usually follow, along with decreased function of the liver and kidneys. Some of those affected may also begin to bleed both internally and externally.
The UN secretary-general’s special envoy on Ebola, David Nabarro, was in Malian capital Bamako, Wednesday, where he discussed the current situation and the measures being taken during a series of meetings with the Malian president, the minister of health and public hygiene, and other government representatives, as well as with the head of the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) in Mali.
UNMEER, the first-ever UN emergency health mission, is being set up in response to the unprecedented outbreak of Ebola. The UN Mission will be temporary and will respond to immediate needs related to the fight against Ebola.