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Sierra Leone confirms a death from Ebola, after WHO declares outbreak over

Health officials in Sierra Leone have discovered another fatal case of Ebola, hours after the outbreak was declared over

15 January 2016, 8:47am
Health officials in Sierra Leone have confirmed a death that occurred earlier this week, was due to Ebola, international media report.

The reports emerged more hours after the World Health Organization declared the West Africa outbreak over. Sierra Leone was declared free of the virus on 7th November, but the region as a whole was declared clear when Liberia was pronounced Ebola-free on Thursday.

However, the BBC reports that two tests conducted on a person who died in the north of the country had proved positive for the virus. The BBC adds that the patient had travelled from Kambia, close to the border with Guinea, and that health officials were now urgently seeking those who had come into contact with the victim.

A country is considered free of human-to-human transmission once two 21-day incubation periods have passed since the last known case tested negative for a second time.

In its announcement that West Africa was clear of the outbreak, WHO also warned that the area was susceptible to small flare-ups of the virus.

Liberia, the latest country to see the end of active transmission of Ebola, had been declared clear twice before, only for the infection to re-emerge later on.

According to international reports, Ebola has left some 4,000 people dead in Sierra Leone, and it further wiped out around 11,000 people across the entire region, since the outbreak was declared in December 2013.