than 100 people quarantined after Sierra Leone Ebola
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[January 18, 2016]
By Umaru Fofana
FREETOWN (Reuters) - More than 100 people
have been quarantined in Sierra Leone after coming in contact with a
woman who died of Ebola last week, highlighting the potential for the
disease to spread, just as the deadliest outbreak on record appeared to
The World Health Organization (WHO) last week declared that "all
known chains of transmission have been stopped in West Africa" after
Liberia joined Sierra Leone and Guinea in going six weeks with no
reported new cases of Ebola. At the same time, it warned of possible
flare-ups as survivors can carry the virus for months.
Just after the WHO announcement on Thursday, tests revealed that
Mariatu Jalloh, a 22-year-old student, died of Ebola on Jan. 12. Her
death has concerned health experts because authorities failed to
follow basic protocols, according to a health report seen by Reuters
The report stated that she lived in a house with 22 people while she
was unwell. Five people were involved in washing her corpse, a
practice that is considered one of the chief modes of Ebola
The Ministry of Health and the Office of National Security said in a
joint statement that 109 people have so far been quarantined, 28 of
whom were high-risk cases.
"An active case investigation continues in the four districts where
the young woman was known to have traveled," the statement said.
The source of the transmission remains unclear, though in late
December the woman traveled near to the border with Guinea, one of
the country's last Ebola hot spots before it was declared Ebola-free
on Nov. 7.
The case is a blow for Sierra Leone which, alongside Guinea and
Liberia, has borne the brunt of a two-year epidemic that killed more
than 11,300 people.
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It has also caused anger. In apparent frustration at the latest
case, the homes of some high risk patients were attacked this
weekend in Magburaka, the city about 200 km (120 miles) east of
Freetown where Jalloh died, and in one case a hut was burned down,
according to a local leader.
Paramount Chief Masakma III told Reuters that a barricade around two
quarantined homes was dismantled.
"We do not know who is behind this, but we are shocked that anyone
would do this in view of what Ebola has done to our country," the
The unrest comes after demonstrators last week accused the health
department of negligence at a local hospital that saw Jalloh as an
outpatient before she died.
(Reporting By Umaru Fofana; Writing by Edward McAllister; Editing by
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