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WHO declares Liberia Ebola-free

By Kamal Tayo Oropo (with agency reports)
09 May 2015   |   11:10 pm
The UN health agency on Saturday declared Liberia Ebola-free, hailing the "monumental" achievement in the west African country where the virus has killed more than 4,700 people.

liberia_map-featuredAFTER 42 days, twice the maximum incubation period of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease, the world Health Organisation (WHO) yesterday declared Liberia free of the epidemic, which has killed thousands of people.

The cheering news comes even as President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said the effects of Ebola could last a generation.

It is, however, not time to lower the guard for West Africa as new cases were reported in neighbouring Sierra Leone and in Guinea, the other two countries hit hardest by the worst Ebola outbreak in history, which left at least 11,000 people dead.

It would be recalled that the disease was imported into Nigeria July 2014 by Liberian national, Mr. Patrick Sawyer. The outbreak left eight people dead.

The damage wrought by the disease that killed more than 4,700 Liberians, was “a scar on the conscience of the world”, said President Sirleaf, adding that for some survivors “the pain and grief will take a generation to heal”.

“Young Liberians who only months before strode confidently to school with dreams of a future as engineers, teachers or doctors – all of which Liberia desperately needs – had their lives mercilessly cut short,” she said.

According to the WHO, in addition to the 4,700 deaths, there were more than 3,000 confirmed Ebola cases in Liberia, and a further 7,400 suspected or probable cases, since the outbreak was declared there in March of 2014. Among the dead were 189 health care workers.