Officials in Sierra Leone on Friday have confirmed a corpse tested positive for Ebola virus just hours after the World Health Organization declared West Africa free from the deadly virus.
The patient got sick at Tonkolili district. He had travelled there from Kambia, close to the border with Guinea, said Sidi Yahya Tunis, a spokesman at an Ebola response center in Sierra Leone.
British health officials who carried out the tests are now desperately seeking all those who may have come in contact with the victim.
The three West African nations which were hardest hit by Ebola had been declared free by world health officials. Liberia was first declared free in May, but the virus returned twice after that, with the latest case in November. Before this week, Sierra Leone was declared free of Ebola in November while Guinea got its clearance last month.
The report comes as a major set back considering the fact that the three nations had reported zero cases for at least 42 days.
Since its emergence in 2013, the Ebola epidemic has killed about 11,300 people (close to 4000 in Sierra Leone) and infected 28,600 others, mostly in the three nations.