Sierra Leone: The World Health Organization (WHO) had declared West Africa free from Ebola, but after just hours, a body has been tested positive for Ebola in northern Sierra Leone. A twenty two old girl, was attending school when she fell sick and returned home to her parents in the city of Magburaka on January 7 and she died on January 12. On Friday, before confirming Ebola case, two tests were carried out on the body from Tonkolili district by UK medical experts.
Tunis said, “It seems like an isolated case. We have not confirmed Ebola cases since September 13”. “The virus was recently contracted by the victim. However, since the victim was female, there is a chance that she contracted the disease by interaction with a male Ebola survivor.” Health officials have sent out a team to the area to search for the people who have been in contact with the victim. They will be put in quarantine to see if they developed symptoms.
While Sierra Leone was declared Ebola-free on November 7 and the region as whole on Thursday, WHO stressed for vigilance in the months to come to avoid flare-ups. “While this is an important milestone and a very important step forward, we have to say that the job is still not done,” said Rick Brennan, WHO director of emergency risk assessment and humanitarian response, at a news conference in Geneva. “That’s because there is still the ongoing risk of re-emergence of the disease because of persistence of the virus in a proportion of survivors.”
In Sierra Leone alone, about 4,000 people have died of Ebola. The epidemic caused 11,300 deaths across the whole region since the outbreak started in December 2013. Liberia, which along with Sierra Leone and Guinea was at the epicentre of the latest outbreak, was first declared free of the disease last May, but new cases emerged twice – forcing officials there to restart the campaign against the disease.