Liberia Confirms New Ebola Case in 10-year-old Boy
Liberia has confirmed a new case of Ebola on Friday after the West African nation declared the country free of the virus back on Sept. 3.
The Minister of Health Bernice Dahn revealed that the case is in a 10-year-old boy from Paynesville, which is a suburb east of Monrovia, the country's capital. The patient was living with his parents and three siblings.
All six of them and other people that are believed to be at high risk have been taken in for medical care at the Ebola Treatment Unit. Two of the boy's siblings were reportedly not felling well.
"The hospital is currently decontaminating the unit. All of the healthcare workers who came in contact with the patient have been notified," she said at a news conference, Reuters reported. "We know how Ebola spreads and we know to stop Ebola but we must remain vigilant and work together."
The latest case is a setback for the country and the region that have been working hard to stop the virus from spreading. According to World Health Organization (WHO), Liberia has had more at least 10,600 cases and 4,808 deaths due to the Ebola epidemic, which started back in March 2014.
Ebola has killed about 11,300 people within the region, which includes Guinea and Sierra Leone. Sierra Leone stated that it was freed of the virus on Nov. 7. Guinea is still in the countdown process.
A 42-day countdown begins once the very last Ebola patient tests negative for the virus a second time. When the countdown ends and no new cases have surfaced, a country can declare an Ebola-free status.
Ebola is a contagious virus that spreads when others come into contact with the bodily fluids and blood of an infected person whose symptoms have already manifested. The infection, which is treatable, causes symptoms such as muscle and joint pain, nausea, fever, vomiting, diarrhea and coughing up blood.