World Health Organization (W.H.O) stated that the deadliest Ebola outbreak on record is over.
The announcement came after a recent chain of cases in Liberia was snuffed out, ending an epidemic that killed more than 11,300 people, mostly in West Africa.
Three countries that were hardest hit by the virus had reported zero cases for at least 42 days, or two incubation periods of the virus.
The World Health Organization’s director of emergency risk management, in Geneva, Rick Brennan said, the immediate threat stems from persistence of the virus in body fluids, notably in the semen of male survivors, up to a year after they are free of the disease and show no symptoms.
The new cases had occurred on average 27 days apart, but there have been none since mid November.
The health authorities in the affected countries had put in surveillance and rapid response mechanisms for managing the risk, and that those measures had proved effective in containing the flare-ups, World Health Organization said.
Mr. Graaf said, is that it’s a problem, a big problem, it’s going to affect us again, but we know how to handle it.
It is a collective effort for the international community and the people of Liberia for being once more Ebola free, Tolbert Nyenswah, Liberia’s deputy minister of public health, said in a telephone interview.
The Ebola outbreak in West Africa had been a fundamental test of the world’s ability to come together to stanch the pandemic.
Though the World Health Organization has been widely criticized for failing to act quickly enough but Beating back Ebola is among the few tangible achievements that senior United Nations officials cite as an example of global cooperation.
An independent commission of 17 experts in public health, research and finance convened by the National Academy of Medicine called for greater international investment in preventing future epidemics.
The abilities of the World Health Organization and other bodies could avoid $60 billion in losses in the event of a pandemic, the commission concluded.
UNICEF estimates that nearly 23,000 children who lost one or both parents or caregivers to Ebola still need support, and that 1,260 children who survived the disease must endure medical problems even as they struggle to be accepted back into their communities.
The World Health Organization declared the end to the deadliest Ebola outbreak on record, which killed and sickened tens of thousands of people in West Africa, even as it cautioned that more flare ups of the disease were likely.
The World Health Organization declared Liberia free of Ebola last year, ending a 14 month plague there that killed more than 4,700. Guinea and Sierra Leone each reported fewer than 10 new cases in the week ending May 3, the lowest since September.
To get to zero cases, public health workers must trace and isolate every contact of every Ebola patient to prevent new chains of transmission. The recent rise in cases shows this is difficult.
The sources of infection for more than two thirds of the cases in Guinea each week are unknown. In Liberia, there were no new cases for three consecutive weeks, but a patient tested positive for Ebola.