On September 3rd, 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Liberia free of the Ebola virus transmission within in the human population.
Liberia has gone through a 42 day period without any new cases of the virus. A country is considered free of human-to-human transmission once two 21-day incubation periods have passed since the last known case tested negative for a second time.
Liberia now enters a 90-day period of heightened surveillance, according to a statement by WHO.
“Liberia’s ability to effectively respond to the outbreak of Ebola virus disease is due to intensified vigilance and rapid response by the government and multiple partners,” WHO said.
Transmission had been declared over previously on May 9th, 2015, but the disease re-emerged six weeks later when on June 29th, the body of a deceased 17-year-old male tested positive for the virus. Six additional cases were identified resulting in two deaths.
“Under the leadership of the Liberia Government authorities, an effective response was rapidly initiated to contain the new outbreak. Members of the community were engaged and effectively contributed to contact tracing and social mobilization” says WHO.
The battle with Ebola is not over as new cases surface in Guinea and Sierra Leone. Last week in Sierra Leone a 67-year-old woman died of the virus, according to WHO. The organization has said that it plans to vaccinate persons who came in contact with the deceased woman.
Guinea experienced 2 deaths during the week of June 28th- August 30th, according to WHO.