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No new Ebola case in Liberia -WHO official

Patrick Flomo/Benjamin S. Taingay
One of the hospital where the desease killed many
One of the hospital where the desease killed many

(elbcradio.com/Mar. 6, 2015)-The World Health Organization (WHO) says Liberia has gone a week without reporting any new cases of Ebola, the first time such a milestone has been reached since May, 2014.

But officials say there have been 132 new cases in Guinea and Sierra Leone in the week to 1 March. They have warned that populations are so mobile in the area that there could be fresh outbreaks in Liberia. Nearly 10,000 people, mostly in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, have died from Ebola infection.

WHO Spokesman, Gregory Hart, told western media that they consider the three countries as a single country. He said: “While it is a good news that Liberia itself has no new cases, the populations are so mobile in that region that there could easily be re-importation of cases.”

The WHO is quoted as saying the final stage of testing of an experimental Ebola vaccine will begin in Guinea March 7. WHO Director-General, Margaret Chan, said: “If a vaccine is found to be effective, it will be the first preventive tool against Ebola in history.”

In a related development, Liberia’s Ebola Incident Management Team (EIMT) Head, Tolbert Nyenswah, says the country is left with at least 29 days to be declared Ebola free.

He said the only confirmed Ebola patient in Liberia has been discharged from the Chinese Ebola Treatment Unit (ETU), following intensive treatment. The Chinese ETU is located at the Samuel Kanyan Doe (SKD) Sports Complex in Paynesville, outside Monrovia, the Liberian Capital. Assistant Health Minister Nyenswah said: “Liberia today (Thursday, March 5) entered the 13th day without a fresh Ebola case.”

Forty two days, that marks two complete cycles of Ebola incubation period, are required to declare an area freed of the virus. He further noted that several proactive measures were being instituted to prevent any resurgence of the pandemic.
“Under the phase three strategy, we have intensified daily testing of suspected people’s blood samples and over 40 blood samples were tested Wednesday, March 4,” the IMT Head also noted.

“Dead people, admitted to various funeral homes, were being tested, burial ceremonies restricted and awareness increased in towns bordering Guinea and Sierra Leone, where the virus is still raging.”
 

“As of yesterday (Wednesday, March 5), there are over one hundred contacts being traced.”
Assistant Minister Nyenswah described the reports as impressive, but warned against complacency.

 


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