Ebola returns to virus-free Liberia

Getty Images

A West African country that announced it had eliminated Ebola seven weeks ago has reported a fresh case of the disease.

Health officials in Liberia confirmed late Monday that the death of a 17-year-old boy was due to Ebola. It’s not clear how he contracted the disease, though officials said his burial was conducted in a way to prevent further spread.

Liberia, which was the worst hit by the Ebola outbreak over the last year, was declared free of the virus on May 9.

The fresh case, which officials warned could happen, demonstrates the difficulty in eradicating a highly contagious disease like Ebola from a region as densely populated as West Africa.

Nearly 5,000 people died from the disease in Liberia alone since early 2014. A total of 10,600 were infected there, according to the World health Organization.

The United States deployed about 2,800 troops to Liberia late last fall, mostly to build treatment centers. Those troops began to return home in February.

See all Hill.TV See all Video