The body of a dead Liberian man has tested positive for Ebola – the country’s first reported case since it was declared free of the disease.
Deputy Health Minister, Tolbert Nyenswah said tests confirmed that the ,17-year-old man from a town near the main airport, had died of the disease.
Officials are investigating how he contracted Ebola, Mr. Nyenswah said.
Liberia was declared free of Ebola six weeks ago, following the deadliest outbreak in the disease’s history.
More than 11,000 people have died of the disease since December 2013, the vast majority of them in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.
The countries had largely curbed the spread of the disease – but the number of new cases has risen recently, with the start of the rainy season in West Africa.
Mr. Nyenswah in Monrovia said that the authorities were dealing with the situation effectively and there was no need for the public to panic.
“We have said over and over again that there was possibility that there could be a resurgence of the virus in Liberia,” he said. “But our surveillance team, our capacity is very strong.[pro_ad_display_adzone id=”70560″]
“The only complication is that the person died before we tested the body as part of our surveillance system.”
The dead man lived in Nedowein, a town 30 miles (48km) from the capital, near the country’s international airport – but far from the borders with Guinea or Sierra Leone.
Mr. Nyenswah said the authorities were investigating whether the dead man had contracted the disease as a result of travel.
He added that the man’s body had been buried safely, in accordance with guidelines to check the spread of Ebola.