MONROVIA, Liberia — Three new cases of Ebola have emerged in Liberia since the country was declared free of the virus on May 9, highlighting the continuing threat of viral outbreaks in West Africa. The Liberian government said it was tracing scores of people who had recent contact with the three patients.
Officials have yet to determine the source of the infections, whether they are related, or whether they involve a new strain of the virus or a re-emergence of a known strain.
“We’re looking at all possibilities,” said Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who said his agency was assisting the Liberian government.
The government of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf took several precautionary steps on Thursday to help head off any further spread of the virus. The Health Ministry said it expected to have thermal cameras set up at the main international airport by the end of the day, to spot travelers who are running fevers.
The first of the three new cases was not identified until the patient, a 17-year-old boy from Margibi County, had died. Tests of samples taken from his corpse confirmed on Sunday that he was infected with the virus.