A woman has died of Ebola in Liberia, months after the West African nation was declared free of the virus and weeks after neighbouring Guinea also recorded a new flare-up, health officials said on Friday.
The woman was brought to a clinic in Paynesville, just east of the capital Monrovia after falling ill and was later transferred to a hospital in the city. She died on Thursday.
“A young lady in her early thirties died of Ebola yesterday at the Redemption Hospital,” a senior health ministry official said, adding that the government was preparing a statement on the new case.
More than 11,300 people have died over the past two years in the world’s worst Ebola epidemic, nearly all of them in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
Liberia was declared free of active Ebola transmission in January, having passed 42 days, twice the length of the virus’s incubation period – the time between catching the disease and getting its symptoms – without a new case..
While the World Health Organization said this week that West Africa’s Ebola outbreak no longer constitutes an international public health risk, the region has continued to see small flare-ups even after countries received the all-clear.
Guinea announced new cases on March 17 just hours after Sierra Leone declared an end of active transmission, a fact that briefly meant that West Africa was officially free of Ebola.
Liberia subsequently closed its border with Guinea, fearing the potential spread of the outbreak onto its territory.
It was not immediately known whether the death in Liberia was linked to the new cases in Guinea.