Ebola virus continues to plague West African countries amid efforts to eradicate the disease.
The government of Sierra Leone announced on Saturday, Jan. 16 that more than 100 people are placed on quarantine following a new Ebola death in the country. Amid the news, officials urged the public not to panic and instead work together to stop further disease transmission.
The World Health Organization confirmed on Friday, that a new case of Ebola has surfaced in Sierra Leone, signifying the possibility of new cases to rise in Ebola-stricken nations.
Government officials of Sierra Leone responded timely to the new case. Local authorities, WHO members and other partner organizations set out to identify contacts and implement control measures to halt possible disease spread.
The latest mortality case who tested positive for the virus was a 22-year-old woman who lived in the northern part of the country. Dr. Brima Kargbo, Sierra Leone's chief medical officer, says the patient arrived at Magburaka Government Hospital with no clinical manifestations of Ebola.
Officials deemed 109 people to be placed under quarantine. Out of this number, 28 were considered high-risk and three others are yet to be found, says Ishmael Tarawally, the national coordinator of the Office of National Security.
Tarawaly says the source of the infection and the route of spread are still being analyzed. Meanwhile, he pushes all Sierra Leoneans to stay alert.
On Thursday, WHO announced that the latest Ebola outbreak in Liberia is over. However, it warned the public that new flare-ups are still likely to occur. Interestingly, the news of the new case in Sierra Leone surfaced the following day.
"We are now at a critical period in the Ebola epidemic as we move from managing cases and patients to managing the residual risk of new infections," says Dr. Bruce Aylward from WHO.
On Nov. 7, 2015, WHO declared that the Ebola virus has stopped spreading in Sierra Leone. The announcement came 42 days after the last Ebola patient tested negative for the virus twice.
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