WHO confirms second new Ebola case in Sierra Leone

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 A new case of Ebola has been confirmed in Sierra Leone, officials said Thursday, the second since west Africa celebrated the end of the epidemic last week.
The fresh outbreak has prompted the country to re-open its Ebola treatment centres and relaunch screening systems, including checkpoints on motorways, a grim reminder of the much feared tropical virus.
The World Health Organization said the new case involved the aunt of 22-year-old Marie Jalloh, who died of Ebola on January 12.

The 38-year-old woman “was a primary caregiver during (her niece’s) illness,” WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic told AFP in an email.
He added that the patient had developed symptoms on Wednesday while she was being monitored at a quarantine facility.

Sierra Leone’s health ministry spokesman Sidi Yahya Tunis also confirmed the new patient, saying the aunt had helped wash Jalloh’s body to prepare it for an Islamic burial.
“We are expecting other cases particularly from those who washed the body before the burial of Marie,” he told reporters.
Ebola is at its most infectious as people are dying or in the bodies of those who have died from the virus.
“It is disappointing of course considering the fact that we have gone for over 100 days since we last recorded a case,” Tunis said.
“What is however encouraging is the fact that this particular individual had already been identified as a high risk contact… and she was already isolated at the voluntary facility… and we were quickly able to remove her the moment she started exhibiting signs and symptoms,” he added.
Sierra Leone’s head of medical services, Brima Kargbo, has announced a vaccination programme for those quarantined following Jalloh’s death in the central city of Magburaka.
The vaccine being used, VSV-EBOV, is the first to have proven effective, according to experts, and Kargbo has said the operation would continue “until all the contacts are vaccinated.”
Some of those quarantined have resisted vaccination, telling health workers they feared it would lead to other ailments.

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