Fresh Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone raises fears of new infection chain

Tuesday, November 4, 2014
By Paul Martin

Koinadugu had prided itself on being the only area to have kept Ebola at bay by operating self-imposed quarantine system

Lisa O’Carroll
Tuesday 4 November 2014

A fresh outbreak of Ebola in a part of Sierra Leone where the virus was thought to have been contained has raised fears of a new, uncontrolled infection chain that could send the death toll soaring.

A Red Cross ambulance team was sent to the remote district of Koinadugu, which had prided itself on being the only area to have kept Ebola at bay, on Tuesday to urgently collect 30 corpses for medical burial.

The outbreak is a major setback for the Ebola response force and the district, which two weeks ago remained resolved to control the spread of the virus that has officially infected 5,338 people and claimed 1,510 lives in the country.

Koinadugu has been operating a self-imposed quarantine for four months, thanks to the intervention of an expat businessman, Momah Konte, who returned from Washington and worked with local officials and tribal chiefs to try to prevent the spread.

The Red Cross said the emergency burial team was making the five-hour journey from Freetown on Tuesday to collect the bodies in the Nenie chiefdom east of the district’s capital Kabala.

A spokesman said that there were reports of a further 25 ill with Ebola and another 255 being monitored after coming into contact with the dead and the sick.

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