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Liberia declares second Ebola case

Published 01/07/2015

Health workers wash their hands after taking a blood specimen from a child to test for the Ebola virus on the outskirts of Monrovia, Liberia. (AP)
Health workers wash their hands after taking a blood specimen from a child to test for the Ebola virus on the outskirts of Monrovia, Liberia. (AP)

Liberian officials have confirmed a second Ebola case in the same town where the disease was detected days earlier on the corpse of teenager.

The announcement comes seven weeks after the country was declared Ebola-free.

The infected person was moved to Monrovia, said deputy health minister Tolbert Nyenswah.

Meanwhile, between 100 and 200 Ebola centre workers stormed the Ministry of Health in eastern Monrovia - demanding hazard pay that they said they have not received since the country was declared Ebola-free by the World Health Organisation on May 9.

"We are all held hostage in the building," an official said, adding that police in the compound were not doing much to quell the protests.

Health minister Bernice Dahn said Liberia has paid hazard benefits to "99%" of people who worked in the Ebola treatment units in addition to their regular salaries.

She said if there are people who feel they have not been paid, "they should come forward" and make their case with the ministry.

Workers have also exhumed the body of the 17-year-old male student whose infection, detected after his death, sparked fears of the return of Ebola to Liberia.

The country was the hardest hit in the region, with 4,800 deaths, before it contained transmission.

The new tests will help determine the mode of transmission to the boy, said an official.

Experts warn that Ebola remains a threat to West Africa until it is eradicated from Guinea and Sierra Leone where it stubbornly hangs on.

The West African outbreak of Ebola is the worst ever recorded, killing more than 11,200 people.

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