Less than two months after Liberia was declared Ebola-free by the World Health Organization, the virus is back in the country.
Over the weekend, a 17-year-old boy died in a small town outside the Liberian capital of Monrovia, The New York Times reports. His family had the burial team swab his body to test for the virus. The tests came back positive, as did a blood test taken by an Ebola response team on Tuesday. According to The Times, a clinic initially diagnosed the boy with malaria, which has similar symptoms to the early stages of Ebola.
Agence France-Presse reports that two more patients have tested positive for the disease, and according to the WHO’s latest situation report, health authorities have identified 102 people who were in contact with the boy, a number that is “expected to increase as investigations continue.”
Even when the outbreak fizzled out in Liberia, neighboring Guinea and Sierra Leone have continued to see 20 to 27 cases a week since late May, according to the WHO. There have been more than 11,000 total deaths from the outbreak since it began in March 2014.
Right now it’s unclear how the boy got infected—he reportedly had not been to Guinea or Sierra Leone, nor is he thought to have been in contact with anyone visiting from those countries, making it all the more mysterious how the virus found a foothold again in Liberia.