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By Donald G. McNeil Jr., New York Times
For the first time, scientists have found evidence that a woman can harbor the Ebola virus for more than a year and then infect others.
The discovery involved transmission within a Liberian family in the closing days of the West African epidemic that lasted from December 2014 to mid-2016. More than 28,600 people were infected and 11,325 died.
The episode raises new medical questions: Scientists do not know how the virus hid inside the woman for 13 months before re-emerging in lethal form.
All 120 people with any recent contact with the family were vaccinated, she said. None fell ill, and that helped prove the Merck vaccine works.
This year, the vaccine was used to defeat the most recent Ebola outbreak, which took place in the Democratic Republic of Congo. About 3,200 people were vaccinated, and new cases faded out after only about three months. Tuesday, the director-general of the World Health Organization will officially declare it over.
In Liberia, after the 15-year-old died, blood tests showed that his father and 8-year-old brother had Ebola. With treatment, both recovered.