A carer for a woman who died of Ebola in Sierra Leone has now been infected with the virus, heightening fears of a fresh flare-up just days after West Africa was declared officially free of the disease.
The second case to be identified in less than a week is a 38-year-old woman who had helped to care for last week’s victim, Mariatu Jalloh, health ministry spokesman Sidi Yahyah Tunis said according to a report by Reuters news agency.
WHO on Thursday also confirmed the second Ebola case in Sierra Leone, saying new patient was Jalloh’s aunt.
The 38-year-old woman “was a primary caregiver during the young woman’s illness,” WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic told the AFP news agency in an email, adding that she had developed symptoms of the deadly virus on Wednesday while she was being monitored at a quarantine facility. “The patient is being treated now,” Jasarevic said.
Jalloh, a 22-year-old student who died from the disease on January 12, tested positive for Ebola after her death, which marked a further setback in efforts to end a two-year epidemic that has killed more than 11,300 people across West Africa.
The new cases come as reports emerge that fear and suspicion in the country, which had been declared Ebola-free in November, were hampering attempts to stop the spread of the virus. Read more