Health officials in Liberia on Friday reported a new case of the deadly Ebola virus more than two months after declaring the West African country free of the disease for a second time.
Liberia, one of three West African nations at the center of the worst outbreak of the disease in history, was declared Ebola-free first on May 9 and again on Sept. 3, according to the Associated Press. More than 10,600 cases and 4,800 deaths were recorded in the outbreak there, according to the World Health Organization.
The latest case is a 10-year-old boy who lives in the Paynesville district of Monrovia, said Francis Kateh, chief medical officer and acting head of Liberia’s Ebola Case Management System. Kateh said the boy was being taken to a treatment center outside Monrovia, the AP reported.
The newest case comes just days after authorities in Guinea reported that the last known patient with the disease in that country, a 3-year-old girl named Nubia, had recovered. That was thought to be the potential end of the unprecedented two-year epidemic across West Africa that left more than 11,300 dead.
A country is declared Ebola free when 42 days pass — twice the virus’ 21-day incubation period — with no new cases.
On Thursday night, before the new case was reported, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf declared victory over the disease in a speech praising “the resilience” of Liberians in overcoming Ebola.
“Without the individual and collective support and cooperation of all our citizens and residents, it would have been difficult to defeat this scourge,” Sirleaf said.