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Saturday 21 April 2018

Ebola returns to Sierra Leone capital after three-week gap

Health workers preparing an isolation camp in Guinea Credit: Reuters
Health workers preparing an isolation camp in Guinea Credit: Reuters

Umaru Fofana

Sierra Leone has recorded two new cases of Ebola in Freetown in the past few days, dashing hopes that the deadly virus had been wiped from the capital.

Health officials said the first case in Freetown since May 29 was a fisherman who caught haemorrhagic fever (Ebola) from his girlfriend in the northern district of Port Loko.

Shortly afterwards, a family member who lived in the same household also caught the virus.

Six other cases were recorded in Sierra Leone over the past week, health ministry data showed.

Read More: Liberia declared Ebola-free as outbreak rages across border

"This is worrisome because we had already closed all Ebola quarantine structures in Freetown since we had gone for weeks without a case," said Sidi Yahya Tunis, a spokesman for the National Ebola Response Centre (NERC).

Adding there were concerns about further infection since the two cases were reported in Magazine, a densely populated slum lacking adequate hygiene facilities.  

Liberia became Ebola-free in May, but its neighbours Sierra Leone and Guinea are still struggling to get to zero cases despite hundreds of millions of Euro in aid.  

The worst known Ebola epidemic in history, more than a third of the 11,000 people killed in West Africa were in Sierra Leone.


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