Liberian officials have confirmed the recent death of a young woman from the Ebola virus, marking the possible resurgence of the deadly disease outbreak in the country, where it’s already taken over 4,800 lives to date.
The woman in her 20s died on July 12 shortly after she was diagnosed with the disease. She appeared to have had contact with a teenage boy who died from Ebola last month, Deputy Health Minister Tolbert Nyenswah told the Associated Press. Nyenswah added that there are three new cases of the disease at the moment – all registered in Liberia’s capital city, Monrovia.
Officials have taken immediate measures to prevent the spread of the virus, with more than 120 people under observation in the village of Nedowein, southeast of Monrovia. These people will be discharged if, after 21 days of quarantine, the symptoms of Ebola don’t show up.
"By the weekend we should be having a big ceremony to discharge and reintegrate them into the community," Nyenswah said.
The two Liberian deaths from the virus are first since May, when the number of new virus cases sharply declined. The death toll in the country now stands at more than 4,800 people.
Experts have examined samples taken from 17-year-old Abraham Memaigar, who died in Nedowein on June 28. According to the World Health Organization, the virus is genetically similar that which spread in this area six months ago, leading to the conclusion that the two new fatalities weren’t infected in Guinea or Sierra Leone, where the disease persists, or from an infected animal.
Ebola has killed over 11,200 people in West Africa since the outbreak was first declared more than a year ago. Liberian officials announced in May they were "in control of the outbreak."
The virus spreads through direct contact with blood or other bodily fluids of infected people. The disease has a high risk of death, killing between 25 and 90 percent of infected people.