Africa has reacted with joy to news of the end of the Ebola epidemic. This is coming after the World Health Organization declared the West African region fee from Ebola.
Specifically, the world health body declared Liberia, the last country in the region to be infected as now being completely free of the Ebola virus after a series of checks by global health experts.
This means that the ugly saga of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa which took the lives of approximately 11,300 people has now been rested. Liberia was the last affected country to get the all-clear signal, with no cases of Ebola for 42 days, twice the length of the virus’s “incubation period” – the time elapsed between transmission of the disease and the appearance of symptoms.
However, there are still muted concerns, which are also acknowledged by the WHO that West Africa may yet seee see flare-ups of the virus. Also, the organization says that Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea “remain at high risk of additional small outbreaks” of Ebola.
On her part, WHO chief, Margaret Chan believes the landmark achievement by the West African region in rallying to the crisis has been a major contributory effort in the resolution of the crisis.
“All known chains of transmission have been stopped in West Africa”, with no cases reported for at least 42 days in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, the three states hardest-hit by the outbreak. So much was needed and so much was accomplished by national authorities, heroic health workers, civil society, local and international organizations and generous partners,” Chan said.