National and International health authorities have still not arrived at the source of the new Ebola cases in Liberia but they have ruled out the possibility that it could be as the result of a dog.
Last Thursday, authorities disclosed that two additional cases had been added to the previous three to make five cases, including the dead 17-year-old whose death sparked the resurgence of the death which killed some 4,800 people in Liberia. The confirmed new cases could increase to eight in days as three other contacts tested indeterminate.
Liberia’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Francis Kateh told a news conference in MonroviaFriday that they could not find any scientific proof that the current outbreak was as a result of a dog meat eaten by the initial victim.
Thus, the source of the new outbreak is still a mystery and an investigation by the Liberian Institute for Biomedical Research and the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been ongoing.
“Nearly complete genomes (99% coverage) were obtained from two samples (body swab and blood) taken from the patient posthumously,” Kateh told the news conference at the Liberian Emergency Operation Center. He said the current strain of the disease was the same as the previous.
“Both sequences are identical and are consistent with this cluster representing a continuation of the ongoing EBOV (Ebola virus) outbreak in West Africa, as opposed to a separate introduction from a reservoir population.
“The sequence groups closely with previous isolates from Liberia and is distinct from the viruses currently circulating in Sierra Leone and Guinea. The level of sequence divergence between this case and previous isolates is significantly lower than is expected based on the date of the isolation and outbreak-wide estimates of the virus’ rate of evolution. Understanding the significance of this finding requires further investigation. Sequencing of other cases associated with this flared-up outbreak is ongoing.”