An unidentified illness broke out in Liberia resulting to the death of 11 people. Health experts said the cases were not due to Ebola this time.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and Liberian officials said these people all went to the funeral of a religious leader. After attending, they contracted the illness and a total of 20 people got infected. Five remained in area hospitals and four received clearances to be discharged.
The illness surfaced on April 23 and among those infected were also children. WHO and Liberian officials did not say, however, how many children got sick or if any of those who died were kids. Those who contracted the illness attended a religious leader's funeral a day before they got infected.
WHO spokeswoman Fadela Chaib said in a statement they took samples from the people who died from the illness and the results showed they were negative for Ebola, yellow fever and Lassa fever. She pointed out that the next step is to look for "other hemorrhagic fevers and for bacteria, if there was any common exposure to water contamination or food contamination," NBC News revealed.
Ebola broke out in Liberia two years ago and the number of cases began to drop months back. But Yellow fever, which is passed through a mosquito bite, remained a problem in the area. Lassa fever, which is acquired from infected rats, also remained rampant in West Africa, World Health Organization revealed. The other victims tested positive for malaria and received treatment.
The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) received the sample and said that the mortality rate for the mystery illness is higher in children. There's a possibility that the illness was due to an ingestion or exposure to a contaminant.
As for the real cause of the deaths, it might be determined in a week or two. The symptoms that the infected people suffered from included confusion, diarrhea, headache and vomiting.
The new illness came two years after Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone became the hardest hit areas in the world after a global Ebola outbreak. Around 28,600 people contracted the disease and health officials estimated 11, 300 deaths. Just last year, WHO declared Liberia free of Ebola.