Published On: Aug 06 2014 10:57:34 AM CDTUpdated On: Aug 07 2014 03:54:12 PM CDT
Sierra Leone confirmed its second caseof Ebola within the past week on Thursday, prompting fears of a resurgence of the deadly virus.
Ebola has killed more than 11,300 people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, and the United Nations says those numbers are vastly under-reported.
Sidi Yahyah Tunis, a spokesman for the country’s Health Ministry, said the patient was a 38-year-old woman who helped care for the week’s first Ebola victim Mariatu Jalloh.
The second confirmed case came nearly a week after the World Health Organization gave the region an all-clear.
After the all clear declaration, the WHO cautioned that the three countries remain at high risk of additional small outbreaks of Ebola, like the most recent one in Liberia. To date, 10 such flare-ups have been identified that were not part of the original outbreak and are likely the result of the virus persisting in survivors even after recovery.
Three reasons are often given for the poor initial response: Ebola hit big cities, where people live in close quarters;
The West African countries have a dangerous lack of doctors, nurses, laboratories and supplies;
Lastly, it was difficult to convince people to put a halt to the tradition of washing their dead relatives before burial, which spread the virus.
There is no cure for the virus and no vaccine, but care from medical workers so far has helped sustain the lives of nearly half of those stricken.
To learn more about the Ebola virus itself, click here.
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