It was quiet now for some time, both in my blog as well as in Sierra Leone. The new infections went down and further down, we had days in a row without any new cases and it seemed to be only a small step towards an Ebola-free Sierra Leone.
But recently the pictures changed again. Below are the contacts followed as of 6th July, published by WHO. “No of contacts” means people who had been in direct contact with a confirmed positive Ebola case and who are quarantined as a consequence of that. WARD 374 refers to the area also known as “Magazin Wharf”, a slum area in coastal Freetown. While on Friday there was a total of 14 cases linked to Magazin Wharf, the weekend brought about another 5! One of them even with an unknown epi-link (at least that was the status yesterday).
Most of those new cases are connected to one asymptomatic case of a pregnant woman who delivered in hospital without knowing that she is Ebola positive. The immune system of pregnant women is basically running on very low intensity during pregnancy to prevent that the body is “rejecting” the child. This – as turned out now – can “hide” Ebola. Fever and vomiting are reactions of the immune system that is trying to fight the virus. If this is not happening, there is no fever. Ebola was detected only after the delivery. Subsequently, more than 400 people entered quarantine in Magazine Wharf.