MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) — A second person in Liberia has died from Ebola in the latest resurgence of the deadly disease in the West African nation, an official said Wednesday.
The woman in her early 20s who died on July 12 was linked to the 17-year-old boy who died last month, Deputy Health Minister Tolbert Nyenswah told The Associated Press. Three other confirmed cases are being treated in Monrovia, he said.
Some of the more than 120 people under observation in Nedowein, southeast of Monrovia, could be discharged once they complete 21 days of quarantine and show no signs of infection, he said.
“By the weekend we should be having a big ceremony to discharge and reintegrate them into the community,” he said.
Liberia lost more than 4,800 lives to Ebola before it contained transmission in May. These are the first known cases since then.
Samples taken from the 17-year-old boy who died from Ebola in Liberia on June 28 shows the virus is genetically similar to viruses that infected many people in the same area more than six months ago, the World Health Organization has said.
That finding by genetic sequencing suggests it is unlikely the virus was caught from travel to infected areas of Guinea or Sierra Leone, where the virus is hanging on, or from an animal, the organization said. The Ebola outbreak has killed more than 11,200 people, mostly in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.
Nyenswah said early action to monitor contacts and isolate those that are sick means that Liberia is “in control of the outbreak.”
The virus spreads through direct contact with an Ebola patient’s blood or other body fluids. Once patients recover, health officials say they aren’t contagious, except it could still be in semen. The bodies of people killed by Ebola are also highly infectious.