Sierra Leone has reported a death from Ebola, just days after the World Health Organisation (WHO) officially declared the epidemic over in the affected West African region. However, following the declaration, WHO warned of the risk of more flare-ups or “residual Ebola risks”.
The latest death of Mariatu Jalloh, a 22 year-old woman has concerned health experts. According to a report compiled by a humanitarian agency, the death of Jalloh has been attributed to failed to the failure by authorities to follow basic health protocols, the Guardian reports.
Sierra Leone was declared Ebola-free in November last year, and entered a three month period of “enhanced surveillance scheduled to conclude on 5 February 2016”. In a statement, WHO noted that countries in the West African region, “Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone have all now succeeded in interrupting human-to-human transmission linked to the original outbreak in West Africa”.
Sierra Leone has been the worst country affected by the outbreak, with 14,122 reported cases and 3,955 recorded deaths.
The epidemic has killed more than 11,000 people since December 2013, from the 28,637 reported cases, according to data from WHO.
The latest case has raised concern as the source of transmission remains unclear. Although surveillance systems have been put in place in the affected regions, the case in Sierra Leone also highlights the residual risks which still exist.