Outbreak feared as Ebola case shows in Liberia

Jun 30, 2015, 6:12 PM EDT
A Liberian worker reacts as he dismantles shelters in an Ebola treatment center closed by the charity Medecins Sans Frontiers (MSF - Doctors without Borders) in the Paynes Ville neighbourhood in Monrovia on March 25, 2015.
ZOOM DOSSO/AFP/Getty Images

A teenage boy in Liberia has died of Ebola, and prompted worry of another outbreak in the country that struggled to contain the devastating rampage of the virus. Medical workers have quarantined an area around Monrovia, the country's capital. ABC News reports:

Liberian officials confirmed that Ebola has returned to the country after the death of a teenager.
 
The 17-year-old boy tested positive for the virus 48 days after the World Health Organization declared Liberia free of Ebola on May 9. More than 8,000 people died from the disease after the virus spread across the country in 2014.
 
While officials only confirmed the virus after the teenager had died, he was buried according to Ebola protocols to reduce risk of infection, according to the Liberian government.
 
“Although this was not the situation we were hoping for, this incident demonstrates[s] that our alert systems are working,” Liberia’s Minister of Health Dr. Bernice Dhan said in a statement. “The structures we have in place to strengthen our surveillance systems in Liberia allowed us to respond quickly. It is critical that the Liberian people remain vigilant and continue all prevention measures to stop the spread of Ebola.”
 
 
Deputy Health Minister Tolbert Nyenswah said dozens of people were under observation after potentially coming into contact with a boy who died on Sunday. His body tested positive for the Ebola virus this week.
 
“There’s a single new case of Ebola confirmed,” Mr. Nyenswah said. “We will show the world this is something we are used to dealing with.”
 
The World Health Organization declared Liberia Ebola-free on May 9, after 42 days without a newly recorded infection. That was a major milestone for a country that lost nearly 5,000 people to a yearlong epidemic that was claiming more than 400 lives a week at its September peak.
 
Liberia’s government was slow to address the crisis and lost more citizens than Guinea and Sierra Leone, the other West African nations hardest hit by the most severe outbreak of the hemorrhagic fever on record.

 

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