Sierra Leone’s swift work ended Ebola flare-up – WHO


Raising awareness about Ebola in Sierra Leone by promoting health and facilitating community acceptance of new surveillance, clinical care and burial procedures. Photo: UNMEER/Martine Perret

The end of a new Ebola flare-up in Sierra Leone has been confirmed by UN health agency the World Health Organization (WHO).

The WHO announcement comes 42 days after the last person confirmed to have the deadly disease in the country tested negative for a second time.

This is the critical time period that marks two incubation cycles of the virus and which has to expire before infected individuals can be declared disease-free.

After declaring the Ebola flare-up over in Sierra Leone, the World Health Organization (WHO) said that it marked “another milestone” for the country.

Success in dealing with the outbreak in the west African state was thanks to Sierra Leone’s “government, partners and people” who mobilized quickly, WHO added.

The country’s rapid containment of the Ebola episode also shows how much better prepared it now is to deal with health emergencies at a national, district and community level, the UN health agency said in a statement.

However, WHO stressed that Sierra Leone and previously affected Liberia and Guinea are still at risk from further flare-ups.

This is largely owing to virus persistence in survivors, which means that all three countries must remain on high alert and ready to respond, it said.

Latest data shows that the Ebola epidemic has claimed more than 11,300 lives and devastated families and communities across every aspect of life.

SOURCE: Daniel Johnson, United Nations, Geneva

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