A Liberian deputy health minister put herself under a three-week quarantine Saturday after her office assistant died from Ebola virus disease. Bernice Dahn said she is not experiencing any symptoms, but the maximum incubation time for the disease is 21 days, according to the Associated Press.
The Liberian government has asked residents to quarantine themselves for at least three weeks should they believe they have been exposed to the disease that has been ravaging West Africa since May. Residents have been told to remain isolated during the incubation period even though they are not showing symptoms.
“Of course we made the rule, so I am home for 21 days,” Dahn told AP. “I did it on my own. I told my office staff to stay at home for the 21 days. That’s what we need to do.”
More than 3,000 people have died from Ebola since the most recent -- and deadliest -- outbreak began. At least 1,830 of those who died were in Liberia, including 150 in the last two days, according to the World Health Organization, or WHO.
Health-care workers are particularly at risk of catching the disease. Almost 300 have been infected with the disease, and nearly one-half of them have died, WHO reported.
The United Nations recently created its U.N. Mission for Ebola Emergency Response initiative to provide health-care workers, medical supplies and training on the ground. The program’s headquarters will be in Ghana. It will send aid to the countries most affected by the outbreak: Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
The U.S. will also provide aid to help stop the spread of Ebola. This month, President Barack Obama announced the country would send 3,000 troops to Liberia to set up a military command center that would serve as a base to support relief operations in the region.
U.S. troops will be working with local health officials to build an additional 17 treatment centers around Liberia. Many hospitals across the region have had to turn infected patients away due to shortages of space, so each center will have 100 beds.
Before the outbreak, Liberia had just 51 doctors to serve its population of 4.2 million, BBC News reported.