In less than a week after the release of its last Ebola patient, Sierra Leone confirms a new death due to the deadly disease.
"Samples from the body of a 67-year-old woman who died recently in Kambia district in the country's north came back positive for the deadly disease," said Dr. Brima Kargbo, chief medical officer.
Last week, the 42-day countdown was initiated in the country towards being declared free of Ebola transmission after the last known Ebola patient was released from a hospital.
"Authorities were still trying to determine whether the woman in Kambia died before or after that countdown began," said Kargbo.
"The National Ebola Response Center had deployed teams to conduct surveillance and trace people who were in contact with the woman," said OB Sisay, the center's director.
"We should not despair as we have been expecting this. We need to stay focused and maintain our discipline," added Sisay.
According to World Health Organization, more than 4,000 people died due to Ebola and there were more than 13,500 suspected cases in Sierra Leone. A country must go 42 days — equal to two incubation periods of 21 days — without an Ebola case in order for WHO to declare it free of Ebola transmission.