MONROVIA (Reuters) – A herbalist who treated the 17-year-old boy who sparked Liberia’s third wave of Ebola infections has escaped quarantine and fled to Nimba County in the north of the country near Guinea, officials said on Thursday.
He was one of 120 people placed under quarantine for coming into contact with the deceased.
“The herbalist evaded quarantine and is on the run, this is a reason we are putting everybody on alert,” Paul Karnue, a spokesman for the Nimba local government said.
“Nimba County authorities are not taking Ebola’s recurrence lightly because the county suffered severely during the first outbreak,” he added.
More than 11,200 people have died from the worst outbreak on record of the viral Ebola fever since the epidemic broke out in December 2013 in neighbouring Guinea.
Liberia was declared Ebola-free on May 9 but reported a new case nearly two months later. The outbreak is also still active in Sierra Leone and Guinea.
“It is worth mentioning that the first Ebola case in Nimba County in 2014 started with a similar story. One herbalist went to Monrovia to treat an Ebola patient, thereafter, he contracted the virus and returned with it in Nimba. This is how Ebola spread and took away the lives of hundreds of citizens,” Karnue said.
A Liberian woman died of Ebola on Tuesday in a hospital in Monrovia shortly after being admitted, becoming the sixth confirmed case and second death since the virus resurfaced last month.