Credit WHO – May 6th Ebola Activity Map
With no new reported cases of Ebola in Liberia in 42 days, the World Health Organization has officially declared that embattled nation free of the disease. Neighboring Sierra Leone and Guinea – while also making gains – continue to battle the virus, and so the entire region remains vigilant for any new outbreak.
The victory in Liberia, while welcome, is also fragile.
This statement was emailed out by the World Health Organization this morning. Follow the link to read it in its entirety.
Published on 09 May 2015
Today, 9 May 2015, WHO declares Liberia free of Ebola virus transmission. Forty-two days have passed since the last laboratory-confirmed case was buried on 28 March. The outbreak of Ebola virus disease in Liberia is over.
Interruption of transmission is a monumental achievement for a country that reported the highest number of deaths in the largest, longest, and most complex outbreak since Ebola first emerged in 1976. At the peak of transmission, which occurred during August and September 2014, the country was reporting from 300 to 400 new cases every week.
During those two months, the capital city Monrovia was the setting for some of the most tragic scenes from West Africa’s outbreak: gates locked at overflowing treatment centres, patients dying on the hospital grounds, and bodies that were sometimes not collected for days.
Flights were cancelled. Fuel and food ran low. Schools, businesses, borders, markets, and most health facilities were closed. Fear and uncertainty about the future, for families, communities, and the country and its economy, dominated the national mood.
Though the capital city was hardest hit, every one of Liberia’s 15 counties eventually reported cases. At one point, virtually no treatment beds for Ebola patients were available anywhere in the country. With infectious cases and corpses remaining in homes and communities, almost guaranteeing further infections, some expressed concern that the virus might become endemic in Liberia, adding another – and especially severe – permanent threat to health.