Friday 21st July 2017,

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Government of Liberia reacts to the arrival of Thomas E. Duncan, first Ebola patient in the US

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Crystal, MN – The Government of Liberia has expressed regret over the recent travel of an Ebola  patient, Thomas E. Duncan, believed to have flown from the Roberts International Airport to the United States.

In a dispatch from the Information Ministry in Monrovia, Liberia’s Information Minister Lewis Brown said, the government is concerned that an individual traveling from Liberia was diagnosed with Ebola after he arrived in the United States.

Minister Lewis Brown

Minister Lewis Brown

He said, there are on-going screening at the RIA in order to prevent the disease from spreading through air travel. “We monitor these screening programs regularly.”

The Liberian Information Minister also disclosed through a dispatch that, like those who are being permitted to travel, including the one on September 19, 2014, the passenger showed no signs of fever or symptoms of the virus.

Minister Brown said, “As we are also discovering, it was only days after his arrival in the United States that the disease was manifested.”

He said, consistent with the findings of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Liberian government believes that he posed no risks to other passengers or the crew with whom he travelled.  “We also have every faith that the United States authorities will successfully contain this latest case so it remains an isolated incident.”

The Liberian government through the dispatch indicated that the recent discovery in the US shows a clear international dimension to the Ebola crisis, which it added that many have spoken and for which the resources of the world is being mobilized to avert.

The dispatch concluded that, “For months now, the Liberian Government has been stressing that this disease is not simply a Liberian or West African problem. The entire international community has a stake in defeating Ebola. Together, we will win the fight against the deadly Ebola Virus Disease.”

In a related development, a CNN news report has quoted Governor Rick Perry as saying that some school-age children have been in contact with the Ebola patient being treated in Dallas, Texas. Those who travelled with the Ebola patient have been told to monitor themselves for symptoms of Ebola. 

Other reports have it that the Ebola patient informed the nurse that he had just arrived from Liberia, but it is not clear whether this information was passed on to others.

Dr. Keiji Fukuda, Assistant Director-General for Health Security at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland,  says the discovery of Ebola in the US is not strange, because people travel from one place to another. Dr. Fukuda made the statement during a CNN television interview with Wolf Blitzer.

The Ebola patient, Thomas Eric Duncan is said to be in serious condition.  According to Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Mr. Duncan is communicating well and  has been able to ask for food, which according to Dr. Gupta is a good sign.

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