FREETOWN. — Sierra Leone yesterday confirmed a second Ebola case after the World Health Organisation declared last week an end to the epidemic that had afflicted West Africa since late 2013.
The communication officer for the country’s Ebola response centre, Yaya Tunis, confirmed the new case to Xinhua, saying the infected person was receiving treatment in a military hospital in Freetown, capital of the West African nation.
The new patient is a close relative of the 22-year-old girl who died from Ebola earlier this month in Magburaka, Tonkolili district – the first new case after the outbreak in West Africa was declared over on January 14.
She had contacted the victim’s body before tests on it proved positive for Ebola. She was later isolated, according to Tunis.
Tunis urged the citizens to be vigilant and continue with the health and sanitary warnings, while assured there was “no course for alarm as all the Ebola facilities are being reactivated to contain any reported case of the disease.”
However, when speaking to Xinhua, some local people attributed the resurgence of the disease to “carelessness and inefficiency on the part of the health workers.”
The country’s Chief Medical Officer, Brima Kargbo, reiterates the resurgence “may be due to mutation of the virus”.
He maintained “there was no fever detected when the patients were admitted at the isolation centre.”
Investigations were underway to ascertain “how the 22-year-old deceased of the virus contracted the virus”, he said.
Ebola has killed more than 11,000 people, mostly in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia since December 2013.
A country is declared Ebola-free if 42 days have passed without a new case since the last known case was proved negative. — Xinhua.