- The Washington Times - Friday, January 15, 2016

Officials have confirmed a new case of Ebola in Sierra Leone, delivering a remarkable — although predicted — setback for West Africa just one day after world health officials declared an end to the two-year outbreak that killed more than 11,000 in the region.

The World Health Organization said officials responded rapidly to the new case, though it underscored the risk of flare-ups.

“We are now at a critical period in the Ebola epidemic as we move from managing cases and patients to managing the residual risk of new infections,” said Dr. Bruce Aylward, the WHO’s special representative for Ebola response. “We still anticipate more flare-ups and must be prepared for them.”

The timing of the new case is notable. On Thursday, the WHO marked the end of Ebola transmission in Liberia, a hard-hit country that had been declared virus-free twice before in 2015, only to face flare-ups that reset the clock.

The WHO clears a country if 42 days — or two of Ebola’s 21-day incubation periods — pass since the last known patient tests negative for the virus.



Sierra Leone had been declared Ebola-free on Nov. 7 but remained in a 90-day period of “enhanced surveillance” to root over hidden chains of transmission.

Guinea, where the outbreak began in December 2013, was cleared on Dec. 29.

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