In an unfortunate turn of events, a new Ebola fatality has been reported just hours after West Africa was declared Ebola-free.
After dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history, it finally seemed that the diseases was cornered. Week after week passed with no new recorded case, but Ebola can survive in human semen and even in eyes, and the disease has struck again. Sierra Leone was first declared Ebola-free on 7th November but now the clock will have to be reset after a fatality in Sierra Leone tested positive for Ebola. A country is considered free of human-to-human transmission after two-incubation periods (42 days).
The tests were conducted by British expert, and the victim apparently traveled close to the border with Guinea, raising concerns about spreading the disease.
The case didn’t take the WHO completely by surprise, as the organization warned that local flare-ups are very probable. Rick Brennan, the World Health Organization’s chief of emergency risk management underlined that “the work is not done” and that there is still much to be done.
The most widespread epidemic of Ebola virus disease infected almost 28,000 people since December 2013, killing over 11,000 just in West Africa. The UK, Spain and Italy also reported one case, while the US had four recorded cases of infection.