A second new case of Ebola in Sierra Leone since west Africa celebrated the apparent end of the epidemic last week is responding well to treatment.
The 38-year-old aunt of 22-year-old Marie Jalloh, who died of the disease on January 12, is responding well to treatment in a Freetown clinic, a ministry of health disease control official, Foday Dafai said.
He added authorities had yet to determine the origin of the new outbreak.
Dafai said the latest sufferer, who the World Health Organisation said had been Jalloh’s primary caregiver, was in quarantine in the northern city of Magburaka when she tested positive and was transferred to the capital.
After visiting the woman, Dafai indicated that 121 contacts had been identified to have been exposed to the index case and 47 of them had been classified as high risk and so were under observation.
“It is therefore very important that we quickly locate and isolate anyone who may have had contact with the latest sufferer,” he said.
Dafai said a vaccination for known contacts was progressing satisfactorily, but urged anybody who may have been exposed to the virus to come forward.
WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic told journalists that 150 of Jalloh’s contacts had been identified, “of which 42 are high risk.”
Locals expressed concern over the potential spread of the deadly tropical virus.