The World Health Organization (WHO) declared Saturday that Ebola virus transmission has been stopped in Sierra Leone.
Forty-two days, that is two Ebola virus incubation cycles, have now passed since the last person confirmed to have Ebola virus disease had a second negative blood test.
“Since Sierra Leone recorded the first Ebola case in May 2014, a total number of 8,704 people were infected and 3,589 have died, 221 of them healthcare workers, all of whom we remember on this day,” said Dr Anders Nordström, WHO Representative in Sierra Leone.
The country now enters a 90-day period of enhanced surveillance which will run until 5 February 2016 and WHO will continue to support Sierra Leone during this period. This new phase is critical for ensuring early detection of any possible new cases of Ebola virus disease.
According to WHO, the Ebola outbreak has decimated families, the health system, the economy and social structures. All need to recover. It has also left an estimated 4,000 survivors who have ongoing health problems who need medical care and social support.
WHO will maintain an enhanced staff presence in Sierra Leone during this transition from outbreak control, to enhanced vigilance, to the recovery of essential health services.
Photo courtesy: WHO