Sierra Leone announces end of Ebola flare-up
A healthcare worker sprays disinfectant in the area they found a man suspected of suffering from the Ebola virus in Kenema, Sierra Leone, Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014. (AP / Tanya Bindra)
Clarence Roy-MacAulay, The Associated Press
Published Friday, March 18, 2016 1:23AM EDT
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone - The World Health Organization and Sierra Leone's Ministry of Health and Sanitation announced the end of the recent flare-up of Ebola in the West African country.
The declaration came 42 days, comprising two 21-day incubation cycles of the virus, since the last confirmed Ebola patient who was a second case in the flare-up tested positive for a second time.
Minister of Health and Sanitation Dr. Abu Bakarr Fofana said "our response ... was prompt and effective and it reaffirmed the local capacity that was built during the previous encounter with the disease, to manage public health events and to say never again shall we be overtaken by any public emergency."
WHO's representative in Sierra Leone, Dr. Anders Nordstrom, said that "while we mark today as a great achievement in the control of the outbreak, it is critical that we remain prepared to respond to possible flare-ups in the future."
In Guinea, two bodies tested positive for Ebola in Guinea, the government there said Thursday. Guinea was declared free from Ebola on Dec. 29. It would have been celebrating the end of its 90-day heightened surveillance period at the end of March.
Nearly 4,000 people died before Sierra Leone was first declared free from transmission on Nov. 7. The West African outbreak of Ebola has killed more than 11,300 people, mostly in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, since late 2013. The outbreak has already been declared over in Liberia but flare-ups could still occur there too.