After weeks in the clear, Liberia has reported a new case of the Ebola. A female patient tested positive for the fever Friday (March 20), bringing an end to the country’s 21-day run of no new cases.

Liberia has to clear 42 days without a new infection, in order to be declared free from Ebola. The country, along with Sierra Leone and Guinea were hit hardest by the virus, which has claimed more than 10,000 lives.

How the new patients contracted Ebola is not known, as she was not linked to any of the names on the list of those infected. The fact that’s not on the list, could create concern for health officials attempting to contain the fever. “We have to investigate where the person came from,” said Dr. Francis Kateh, head of Liberia’s Ebola Incident Management team. “Did they travel out of the country?”

It was international travel that helped spread Ebola from West Africa to Nigeria, the U.S., and parts of Europe. Close to 25,000 people contracted the virus since this time last year when Liberia recorded the first cases.

Thomas Eric Duncan, 42, was the first reported case of Ebola diagnosed in the states,. Duncan was a native of Liberia who traveled to America to visit family last October. He reportedly had contact with an infected patient before leaving Africa, but did not divulge the information to custom officials. He later died.

Duncan’s story, differed from that of two Americans who contracted Ebola while helping sick patients in Africa. Both received top care in the U.S. and were eventually cured. Additional U.S. Ebola patients have been cured as well.

The National Institute of Health began trials for an Ebola vaccine last November.

Photo: AP Photo/Brynn Anderson

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