WHO declares Liberia free of Ebola after no new cases in 42 days

Liberia is now free of Ebola after going 42 days — twice the maximum incubation period for the deadly disease — without any new cases, the World Health Organization announced on Saturday.

hidden May 09, 2015 16:31:57 IST
WHO declares Liberia free of Ebola after no new cases in 42 days

Monrovia, Liberia: Liberia is now free of Ebola after going 42 days — twice the maximum incubation period for the deadly disease — without any new cases, the World Health Organisation announced on Saturday.

Elsewhere in West Africa, however, new cases were reported this week in neighboring Sierra Leone and in Guinea, the other two countries hit hardest by the worst Ebola outbreak in history. Each country recorded nine cases for the week ending 3 May, according to WHO's latest situation report.

WHO declares Liberia free of Ebola after no new cases in 42 days

Representational image. AFP

Officials and survivors said they are cautious about openly celebrating the end of Ebola in Liberia, as the continued presence of the disease in the region means just one sick patient slipping over the border into Liberia could spark a resurgence of cases.

"We're proud of what we collectively managed to do but we need to remain vigilant," said Peter Jan Graaff, the UN secretary-general's acting special representative and head of the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER). "The virus is not yet out of the region and as long as the virus is in the region we're still all of us potentially at risk."

On Saturday, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf toured health centers in Monrovia, embracing and taking group photos with health workers. She was accompanied by US Ambassador Deborah Malac.

WHO has recorded more than 4,700 Ebola deaths in Liberia, more than any other affected country. There have been more than 11,000 deaths in West Africa.

Associated Press

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