The Ebola outbreak in Liberia is over, declares WHO

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Working towards zero cases of Ebola. Photo: UNMEER/Martine Perret

Liberia has been declared free of Ebola virus transmission by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The UN health agency said on Saturday that forty-two days have passed since the last person confirmed with the infectious disease was buried on 28 March.

At the peak of transmission during August and September 2014, the country was reporting 300 to 400 new cases every week.

Stephanie Coutrix reports.

The outbreak of Ebola virus disease in Liberia is over, according to WHO.

This interruption of transmission is being called a "monumental achievement" for a country that reported the highest number of deaths in West Africa.

The UN estimates that Ebola claimed 4,353 Liberian lives.

During August and September 2014, the capital city Monrovia was the setting for some of the most tragic scenes from the outbreak.

But as the number of cases grew exponentially, WHO says international assistance began to pour in, and all these efforts helped push the number of cases down to zero.

While the UN health agency reports it is confident that Liberia has interrupted transmission, outbreaks persist in neighbouring Guinea and Sierra Leone.

There's reportedly a "high risk" that infected people may cross into Liberia over the region's borders.

WHO says it will maintain an enhanced staff presence in Liberia until the end of the year as the response transitions from outbreak control, to vigilance for imported cases and the recovery of essential health services.

Stephanie Coutrix, United Nations.

Duration: 1’13″

 

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