Last Thursday, the World Health Organization declared the end to two horrific years of the West African Ebola epidemic.
Later on the same day, the Ministry of Health in Sierra Leone announced that a patient with Ebola died in the Tonkilli region of that country.
Perhaps the most disconcerting aspect of the new case in Sierra Leone was not that it occurred so soon after WHO's proclamation, but that Ebola wasn't diagnosed until after the patient died.
The patient was a young woman who developed symptoms at the beginning of the year after traveling to an area in that country that was one of the last hotspots to be declared disease-free. When she came to a local hospital for care, she had classic symptoms of Ebola, such as vomiting and diarrhea. Yet she was not diagnosed with the disease.
What's more, the health care worker who drew her blood did not wear the appropriate personal protective equipment and the woman's blood sample may not even have been tested for Ebola. She was eventually discharged to die at home rather than being isolated, and dozens of other people have been exposed. Currently, some 100 people who may have had contact with her are under quarantine.
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