(GENEVA) — The Sierra Leone government has confirmed a new case of Ebola in the country.
This new case comes one day after the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that West Africa is free of the virus. The WHO also cautioned, however, that there could be additional flare-ups in countries affected by Ebola in the past, which include Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.
“We are now at a critical period in the Ebola epidemic as we move from managing cases and patients to managing the residual risk of new infections,” Dr. Bruce Aylward, WHO’s special representative for the Ebola response, said in a statement Thursday. “We still anticipate more flare-ups and must be prepared for them.”
Officials in Sierra Leone worked quickly to address the new case. The WHO is investigating how the case originated, people who may have been in contact with the patient, and how to prevent more cases in the future.
Sierra Leone was declared free of Ebola transmission on Nov. 7, 2015. The country has been under a 90-day surveillance period to quickly detect hidden chains of the disease.