A medical quarantine has been placed in Sierra Leone following the death of a middle-aged woman. The fatality is a setback for efforts in wiping out the deadly virus that's claimed thousands of lives in West Africa.
Fifty people have been placed in quarantine following the death of a middle-aged woman in Sierra Leone, medical officials said Tuesday. The woman, understood to be aged in her mid-60s, died last Friday.
A swab taken after her death confirmed she had contracted Ebola.
The case is frustrating health officials, who just last week had celebrated the release of the last known Ebola patient from a hospital following successful treatment.
That had raised hopes the west African nation may finally have beaten the devastating epidemic.
"Ebola is like the main actor in a horror film. Defeat the actor and he is likely to get up again," Ibrahim Sesay of the National Ebola Response Center told a local radio station. "We are conducting an epidemiological investigation to trace the extent of the transmission."
The woman had been sick for at least five days before authorities were alerted to her condition, he added.
Following well rehearsed procedure, some 50 people considered high risk were placed in quarantine. The outbreak was reported in the village of Sella Kafta in the northern district of Kambia.
The unnamed victim had not travelled to either Liberia or Guinea, two other countries also struggling to contain the worst outbreak of Ebola in history. Some 11,300 people have been killed since the virus first emerged in December 2013 from Guinea.
The World Health Organization says nearly 28,000 Ebola virus cases have been recorded since late 2013.
jar/jr (AFP, epd)