Oh No: EBOLA Returns To Liberia 4 Months After Clearance

Oh No: EBOLA Returns To Liberia 4 Months After Clearance

Physician Thomas Klotzkowski cleans Florian Steiner, a doctor for tropical medicine, in a disinfection chamber at the quarantine station for patients with infectious diseases at the Charite hospital in Berlin. | Reuters/Thomas Peters

The deputy Health Minister of Liberia, Tolbert Nyenswah, on Monday, June 29, 2015 said that the corpse of a 17-year-old boy has tested positive for the dreaded Ebola Virus Disease.

Asides the teenager who was given a safe burial a day after his death, Nyenswah noted that no other case had been reported.

Nyenswah, also the head of the country’s Ebola response, told journalists that the deceased passed away on Wednesday, June 24, 2015 in Nedowein, a town which is near the country’s international airport, about 48 kilometres south of the capital.

Liberia had been the country hardest hit by the outbreak of the deadly Ebola disease in West Africa.

The country was declared Ebola-free by the World Health Organisation, WHO, on Saturday, May 9, 2015 after the country went 42 days without reporting a case.

Nyenswah said, “We have said over and over again that there was the possibility of a resurgence of the virus in Liberia. But our capacity is very strong.”

The latest outbreak of the deadly virus is seen as the deadliest so far as over 11,100 people were sent to their early graves.

Nigeria which was also one of the affected countries with about eight death records was declared Ebola-free by WHO on October, 2014.

It was not known how the 17-year-old contracted Ebola. The town where the teenager died is far from the borders with Sierra Leone and Guinea, so Nyenswah said they were investigating whether his case might be linked to travel, according to Vanguard.

Specimens were taken from the corpse before burial, and the tests later came back positive.

“The only complication is that the person died before we tested the body as part of our surveillance system of testing living and dead people,” Nyenswah said.

He said teams are already doing contact tracing in the Nedowein area, adding that the latest case was “a success story for our surveillance system.”

He however, assured that there was no cause for an alarm, urging people to go about their normal routines.

“There is no need for pandemonium; people should go about their normal business,” he said.

Meanwhile, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon last month, warned that “all countries are at risk” provided there is one Ebola case in West Africa.


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