Liberia’s chief medical officer, Dr. Francis Kateh, says the unknown disease outbreak in Liberia, which has so far killed 12 people, is not transmissible.
“Health authorities are 99 percent sure that the disease is not transmissible,” Kateh said on a local radio station.
Eleven of the people who died attended a funeral in Sinoe country.
He said one of the persons who died after returning from the funeral to Monrovia showed signs of diarrhea, vomiting, weakness, abdominal pains.
However, these are also the symptoms of formaldehyde poisoning. In 2014, at the height of the Ebola scare in Liberia, reports of formaldehyde poisoning led to public water supplies in the Monrovia area being shut down.
Puzzling is the report that one of the two people who died in Monrovia did not go to a funeral in Sinoe associated with the other 11 deaths.
“After a few days, the victim’s fiancée also fell ill with similar symptoms and died. The scenario of the victim’s fiancée also falling ill and dying raises suspicions about Kateh’s statement that the cause of the deaths is not transmissible, as numerous news reports have indicated that the fiancée had not traveled to Sinoe..”
But a secondary contamination with formaldehyde cannot be ruled out…
“Persons whose clothing or skin is contaminated with a solution of formaldehyde can cause secondary contamination by direct contact or through off-gassing vapor.”