The Ebola epidemic has killed some 11,300 people since first emerging in December 2013 in Guinea. There had been celebratory scenes last week in Sierra Leone when the country's last known Ebola patient was released from hospital in the central city of Makeni after being cured of the virus, raising hopes the west African nation may finally have beaten the devastating epidemic. However, in a fresh setback for the country's bid to gain an Ebola-free status, medical officials have revealed that 50 people have been placed in quarantine in northern Sierra Leone after the death of a middle-aged woman from the Ebola virus.
Ibrahim Sesay of the National Ebola Response Center (NERC) said, "We are conducting an epidemiological investigation to trace the extent of the transmission as the woman who died was sick for 5-10 days without the authorities being alerted. Given the 50 people identified as at high-risk we should not be surprised if we see new cases coming out from the new case identified in the village of Sella Kafta in the northern district of Kambia. Ebola is like the main actor in an horror film. Defeat the actor and he is likely to get up again."
The latest victim had not traveled to either Liberia or Guinea, two other countries also blindsided by the worst outbreak of Ebola in history. News of the new Ebola death came as a new school year got underway on Monday, August 31, 2015, with measures in place to try prevent the spread of the virus.
Reports from Kambia said, "Community leaders and residents remained in a state of shock over the news." An elder and long time resident in Sella Kafta, Sampha Mansaray, said, "The community is in mourning over the death. We have been thorough in observing all restrictions to keep Ebola out of our community but we have now failed the rest of the country by being the place that has halted the countdown towards Ebola-free status."