A Liberian has died of Ebola in the first recorded case since the country at the heart of an epidemic was declared free of the virus on May 9, Deputy Health Minister Tolbert Nyenswah said on Tuesday.
The body of a 17-year-old tested positive for Ebola in Margibi County, the deputy minister said.
Margibi is a rural area close to the capital Monrovia, and is home to the country’s main international airport.
“There is no need to panic. The corpse has been buried and our contact tracing has started work,” Nyenswah said.
The case represents a setback for Liberia, which was declared Ebola free on May 9 after going 42 days without a new case.
Authorities will now have to trace and potentially isolate every person the victim came into contact with while sick.
A total of 11,207 people died from Ebola in Liberia, neighboring Guinea and Sierra Leone since the outbreak began in December 2013, according to a World Health Organization (WHO) report on June 24.
Around 43 percent of those deaths were in Liberia, where the outbreak peaked between last August and October with hundreds of cases a week.
Health workers say vigilance is needed if the outbreak is to be eliminated.
A total of 12 new confirmed cases were reported in Guinea and eight in Sierra Leone in the seven days to 21 June, according to WHO figures.
Source: The Globe and Mail