Boy Dies of Ebola in Liberia, First Such Fatality in Months

Liberia - the hardest-hit country with some 4,800 deaths - was declared Ebola-free for a third time last week. REUTERS/James Giahyue

MONROVIA, Nov 24 – A 15-year-old boy has died of Ebola in Liberia, the first such fatality for months in a country declared free of the disease in September, chief medical officer Francis Kateh said on Tuesday.

Nathan Gbotoe tested positive last week and died late on Monday in hospital in Paynesville near the capital, where his father and brother are also being treated for Ebola, officials said.

Liberia has placed under surveillance 153 people who may have come into contact with Gbotoe. An additional 25 healthcare workers are being monitored, of which 10 are identified as high-risk, Kateh said.

The source of the virus is being investigated and Liberia has requested the assistance of two experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has twice declared the West African nation to be Ebola-free, once on May 9 and again on Sept. 3. Liberia’s last Ebola death was in July.

More than 11,300 people have died of the virus since the outbreak was announced in March 2014. Of the three countries hardest hit, Sierra Leone was declared Ebola-free on Nov. 7 and Guinea started its own countdown to zero on Nov. 16. Over 4,800 people died of Ebola in Liberia, according to WHO figures.

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