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May 9, 2015

WHO declares Liberia Ebola free


Accra, May 9, GNA – The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Saturday declared Liberia free of Ebola virus transmission.

A statement issued by the WHO and copied to the Ghana News Agency by Margaret Harris, WHO Communications Officer said:  “Forty-two days have passed since the last laboratory-confirmed case was buried on March 28. The outbreak of Ebola virus disease in Liberia is over.”

It said the interruption of transmission was 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.

It said while WHO was confident that Liberia had interrupted transmission, outbreaks persist in neighbouring Guinea and Sierra Leone, creating a high risk that infected people may cross into Liberia over the region’s exceptionally porous borders.

The statement noted that the Liberian government was fully aware of the need to remain on high alert and had the experience, capacity, and support from international partners to do so.

It said WHO would 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, to the recovery of essential health services.

The WHO is advising formerly infected men and their sexual partners to either abstain from sex or practice safe sex for six months, and to have enough time to undergo two semen tests that were negative for the Ebola virus. – GNA