Liberia traces contacts as 3rd case arises from town

Children in front of their home that has been placed under Ebola virus quarantine, after a  17-year old boy died from the Ebola virus near the homestead on the outskirts of Monrovia, Liberia, Wednesday, July 1, 2015. Liberian officials confirmed a second Ebola case Wednesday in the same town where the disease was detected days earlier on the corpse of a teenager, seven weeks after the country was declared Ebola-free.(AP Photo/ Abbas Dulleh)
Children in front of their home that has been placed under Ebola virus quarantine, after a 17-year old boy died from the Ebola virus near the homestead on the outskirts of Monrovia, Liberia, Wednesday, July 1, 2015. Liberian officials confirmed a second Ebola case Wednesday in the same town where the disease was detected days earlier on the corpse of a teenager, seven weeks after the country was declared Ebola-free.(AP Photo/ Abbas Dulleh)

MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) — Officials intensified contact tracing in Liberia Thursday in the town where a 17-year-old died from Ebola on Sunday, as a third person was found to have the deadly virus.

The two new patients, aged 24 and 27, have been admitted to a treatment center near Monrovia the capital, Liberia’s Ebola response chief Tolbert Nyenswah told the Associated Press. The two men were “very stable” and walked to the ambulance that evacuated them from Nedowein, where Ebola was found on the teen’s corpse about seven weeks after Liberia was declared Ebola-free.

About a dozen health workers who had contact with the teenager are under self-observation at a medical center, and there were no other probable or suspected cases, said Nyenswah.

Authorities have traced about 175 people who’d had contact with the teen who died, said Nyenswah, Liberia’s deputy health minister. The World Health Organization said the dead teen first became ill June 21 and went to a local health facility where he was treated for malaria and discharged.

Health authorities have stepped up screening of passengers at the Roberts International Airport nearby.

Calling the disease’s resurgence “disturbing,” President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said she remained “very confident” authorities could contain the outbreak.

The resurgence has propelled officials to resume hygiene-awareness campaigns in five of the country’s fifteen counties, according to state radio.

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

Meanwhile Air France has resumed flights to Sierra Leone after a 10-month suspension, its Director General said Wednesday.

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

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Associated Press writer Clarence Roy-Macaulay in Freetown, Sierra Leone contributed to this report.

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