Liberia confirms return of Ebola virus

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An Ebola Treatment Unit in Monrovia, Liberia. Photo: UNMEER/Christopher Bailey

Liberia in West Africa has been Ebola-free for seven weeks, or at least it was until UN health experts confirmed on Tuesday that the killer virus has returned.

The development comes after a new case of the disease was found in coastal Margibi county.

It came from a patient who died from Ebola but who confirmed positive for the disease before dying.

Daniel Johnson has more.

On 9 May, Liberian authorities announced the country was free of Ebola virus transmission.

But Tuesday's announcement that a new case has been identified in Margibi county shows that the killer disease is not easily beaten.

Little is known about the victim, although the World Health Organization (WHO) says Ebola was confirmed post mortem.

The important thing now is to find who else the victim came into contact with.

WHO Spokesperson Tarik Jasarevic said it showed that the tracing procedures are working.

"This really shows that the surveillance system is working, so this case has been picked up and tested even after the death, and there was a team to bury the person in a safe way. It also shows how important it is to remain vigilant."

To date there have been at least 27,400 cases of Ebola and more than 11,207 reported deaths since start of outbreak in December 2013.

Guinea and Sierra Leone continue to report new cases of the disease, according to latest UN figures.

Daniel Johnson, United Nations, Geneva.

Duration: 1'04"

 

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