A body has been tested positive for Ebola in northern Sierra Leone, just hours after the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared West Africa Ebola-free, a local health ministry official said.
Multiple tests were carried out on the body of a deceased patient from Tonkolili district by labs and medical experts before confirming the case yesterday, according to Sidie Yahya Tunis.
The deceased, a 22-year-old woman, was attending school when she fell sick and returned home to her parents in the city of Magburaka on the January 7. She died on January 12.
“It seems like an isolated case. We haven’t confirmed Ebola cases since September 13,” Tunis said.
“The virus was recently contracted by the victim. However, since the victim is female, there is 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 too.
“Right now a team is watching her close family members,” Nabie Kamara said, who works for the Disaster Management Department in Sierra Leone.
“For now we want to keep observing the situation before deciding what the next steps will be. We do not want to create panic,” Kamara said. – AFP