This Thursday, Liberia will be declared Ebola free by the World Health Organization. As Liberia is the last country in West Africa to get rid of the virus, the outbreak that killed approximately 11,000 people has finally ended. There were other two countries in West Africa that were contaminated by Ebola, Guinea and Sierra Leone. Sierra Leone was declared Ebola free in November and Guinea in December 2015.
Liberia was the country that was hit the hardest by the Ebola outbreak. 4,800 people died because of the deadly virus. The two last cases of Ebola belonged to a father and his son, and on December 3 they were declared healthy and Ebola free. After they recovered, the 42 days countdown began in order to declare the country free of the virus. According to experts, 29,000 people were infected and less than half managed to survive. Symptoms of Ebola include vomiting, diarrhea, muscle pain and weakness. The virus can be spread by the contact with sweat, vomit, blood or other body fluids of a person infected.
This isn’t the first time that Liberia is considered to be free of the disease. Two other times WHO wanted to declare the country free of the disease, but both times the disease reappeared. Let’s hope that this third attempt won’t be a false alarm as the previous ones were.
According to Ban Ki-Moon, who is the Secretary General of the U.N., the end of the major outbreak in West Africa is proof that when problems appear, the union of the international communities can fight against anything. As 10,000 people survived the Ebola virus, people are encouraged by Ban to help the damaged and poor communities in Africa.
The director of WHO, Margaret Chan and Ban Ki-Moon warned that the virus might erupt again in the region. Liberia’s health minister said that even though new cases of Ebola will appear, they will be quickly taken care of and the virus won’t spread again. He also said that a new strategy has been developed by the country in order to stop the spreading of the virus. The bodies of the Ebola victims have been analyzed intensively, as well as the survivors.
The president of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf thanked the international contributors that helped the country during its time of need. She praised the ability of the U.N. to respond quickly and efficiently when threats to humanity are being made and she called the Ebola disease one of the biggest modern threats to the human health. As Liberia will be declared Ebola free, we hope that no other major Ebola outbreak will occur in the near future.
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