Lab results confirm a new case of Ebola virus disease in Liberia—a 30-year-old woman who died yesterday afternoon while being transferred to a hospital in the capitol Monrovia.
Liberia’s Ministry of Health, WHO and partner agencies immediately sent a team to the community outside Monrovia where the woman lived and the clinic where she was being treated to begin case investigation and identification of individuals who may have been in contact with her.
Liberian health authorities convened an emergency meeting early this morning with key partners to coordinate and plan a rapid response.
This latest case marks Liberia’s third flare-up of Ebola virus disease since its original outbreak was declared over on 09 May 2015. The last flare-up in the country began in November 2015 and ended 14 January 2016. Neighbouring Guinea is also responding to a new cluster of Ebola cases in its southern prefecture of Nzérékoré.
Earlier this week, at the recommendation of the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee, WHO declared that the Ebola epidemic in West Africa no longer represents a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. WHO said Guinea, Liberia and Sierra now have the detection and response capacities in place to effectively manage ongoing flare-ups of Ebola, pointing to the swift response and rapid containment of recent small outbreaks.
But WHO reiterated that additional flare-ups of the disease are expected in the months to come, largely due to virus persistence in some survivors, and that the three countries must remain on high alert and ready to respond. WHO has maintained close to 1,000 experienced staff in the region who are ready to contribute to emergency response operations if needed, while working to recover and strengthen health systems in the three countries.