Barely a day after Africa was declared Ebola free by the World Health Organization (WHO) a new case of a man who died of Ebola has been discovered. Sierra Leone was declared free of Ebola on 7th November, 2015 and Africa as a whole was pronounced clean when Liberia was cleared on Thursday. However, tests on someone who died in Northern Sierra Leone have proved that the deceased was carrying ebola.
Liberia was the last to see the end of active transmission of Ebola but had previously been declared clean twice before, only for the infection to resurface. The standard for a consideration of free human-to-human transmission is achieved once two 21-day incubation periods have passed since the last known case tested negative for a second time.
The death happened earlier this week, Ebola test centre spokesman Sidi Yahya Tunis told BBC that the patient had died in the Tonkolili district. He had traveled there from Kambia, close to the border with Guinea.
The tests haven come back positive have prompted a scramble to find people who had any contact with the victim. Figures have it that close to 4,000 people have died of Ebola in Sierra Leone since December 2013.
Recall that when WHO declared west Africa free of the Ebola virus on Thursday, it has equally warned that there is every possibility of the virus resurfacing since it can remain in the semen of a previously infected person for another one year.
Our initial celebration might have been premature but with our continued applied concerted efforts as a community, we believe that the threat of Ebola will soon enough be extinguished from our continent leaving us and our loved ones free to live wholesome, fear free lives.