Liberia has been Ebola free for the last two months, but now with the discovery of a corpse of a 17-year-old boy who died of Ebola, panic has spread through West Africa in fear of another outbreak. The authorities quarantined the area on where the body was found on Tuesday.
Tolbert Nyenswah, deputy health minister and head of Liberia’s Ebola response team stated that Liberia had got a re-infection of Ebola, as reported by The Associated Press.
Nyenswah said that the boy died at his home ad was buried immediately to contain the spread of the disease.
His home is in the Nedowein area, which is 30 miles south of the capital Monrovia and close to Liberia’s airport.
Teams are puzzled as to how the boy became infected; the area is not near Liberia’s borders with Sierra Leone and Guinea, countries that are still fighting the Ebola epidemic.
After Liberia went 42 days with any cases of Ebola, The World Health Organization declared it Ebola free on May 9th.
Ebola has taken the lives of 4,800 people in Liberia and has been one of the hardest hit countries of this disease.
Even a single case found means the country has Ebola says Dr. Margaret Harris, spokeswoman for WHO in Geneva. She added that after the 42-day period clearance there is a heightened alert period of 90 days with a surveillance system in place.
“It does show that the system Liberia put into place is functioning well,” she said.
Officials are now trying to find out if this new case of Ebola is an isolated one. Ebola stays on in the body for a long time.
Ben Neuman, a virologist at the University of Reading U.K, expressed his concern over the boy infecting anyone else before he died.
So far this is the only case that come forward in Liberia.
Liberia Ebola response chief Nyenswah said in a statement that the boy died on June 24th.
The homes that are quarantined are being sent food.
Ebola is a highly infectious disease transmitted through direct contact with bodily fluids, Ebola can be infected from dead bodies as well.
West Africa has suffered enormously at the hands of Ebola and the disease is still active in Sierra Leone and Guinea, where it was first reported in March 2014.