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Photograph: Photo by UNMEER, used under CC BY-ND

The World Health Organization has confirmed reports of an Ebola case in Sierra Leone on Friday, a day after the agency declaring the end of the Ebola outbreak in the entire region.

The origin of the case is being investigated by the West African country’s new emergency operations centre, the WHO and other partners, and measures are being initiated to prevent further transmission, the WHO said in a statement.

"A new case of Ebola has been confirmed in Sierra Leone, reflecting the ongoing risk of new flare-ups of the virus in affected countries," the statement said.

"WHO stressed in a statement yesterday that Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone remain at high risk of additional small outbreaks of Ebola in the coming months due to the virus persisting in survivors after recovery."

Wreaking havoc for two years, the Ebola outbreak in West Africa was the largest in history.

WHO experts in Geneva warned during Thursday's announcement that there was still a risk that the hemorrhagic fever could flare up again, as the virus can persist for up to 12 months in the semen of some male survivors.

The announcement by the UN health agency came 42 days after the last case was confirmed in Liberia, the final of three West African countries with active transmission of the virus.

Sierra Leone was declared free of Ebola transmission on November 7 and Guinea on December 29.

More than 11,300 people have died since the outbreak in December 2013, while 28,500 have been infected, according to the WHO's latest figures.

Ebola, which was discovered in 1976 and is passed on through contact with blood and other bodily fluids, causes massive hemorrhaging and has a fatality rate of up to 90 per cent if left untreated. 

Related stories

WHO declares West Africa Ebola-free

Dead woman tests positive for Ebola in Sierra Leone

Liberia closes border with Guinea after Ebola "flare up"

Ebola: From the first cases to a global health emergency

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