The deadly Ebola virus, which once commanded global media attention before slowly slipping off the front page, has continued to quietly kill people in West Africa.
According to the World Health Organization, the death toll due to Ebola has now reached a staggering 10,000 people, more than doubling in the past five months.
The number of people infected with the disease is over 24,000.
But the virus was back in the news on Monday when an American healthworker, flown to the US from Sierra Leone for fear of contracting Ebola while treating patients there, was listed in critical condition.
Ten other American medical aid workers who had treated the healthworker were also flown back to the US over the weekend and placed in quarantine.
They are being closely monitored for any symptoms of the disease.
A British medical aid worker who was treating patients in the same facility as the American was also flown home to the UK on Sunday on fears he may have also contracted the disease.
The Ebola virus, also referred to as Ebola hemorrhagic fever because of one of its most visible symptoms, is an incurable disease with a very high fatality rate. It was first identified in 1976.
Some doctors have noted a fatality rate that could reach 60 per cent, but WHO says that can be as high as 90 per cent.
Symptoms can appear as early as two days (and as late as three weeks) from infection and first include headaches, sudden weakness, severe fever and chills, throat and muscle pains. This is followed by vomiting and diarrhea.
The virus is known to debilitate multiple organ systems, leading to bleeding – or hemorrhaging.
Liberia has been the hardest hit among West African nations with nearly 4,000 registered deaths in the past seven months.
In November, it removed its state of emergency.
And since January, Liberia had hoped that it would be declared Ebola free when 42 days pass without any report of Ebola infections.
But a new case was reported in the suburbs of the capital Monrovia in early February. As of March 13, Liberia has been 21 days Ebola free.
The WHO, however, says that there have been more than 118 cases of Ebola reported by March 8 in Guinea and Sierra Leone.
The BRICS POST with inputs from Agencies.