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Ebola emergency over - WHO

Wednesday March 30th, 2016

The Ebola virus crisis in west Africa is over, the World Health Organisation announced yesterday.

WHO said the outbreak was no longer a global public health emergency.

The announcement was made two days after Guinea was declared clear of new infections on the grounds that it was 132 days since the last patient was infected through the outbreak.

The outbreak mainly affected three countries, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone and is known to have caused more than 11,000 deaths.

Some 28,000 people are thought to have been infected and about 10,000 people are regarded as survivors of the disease.

Some of these occasionally succumb to fresh infection causing mini-outbreaks. One of these is under way in Guinea - but WHO says these clusters of disease are being managed successfully by local health authorities, preventing the disease being transmitted more than twice.

WHO says there must continue to be national and international efforts to ensure that survivors continue to be tested for latent viral infections.

And the world must continue to research vaccines and treatments, it said.

A WHO statement said that its emergency committee had decided "that Ebola transmission in West Africa no longer constitutes an extraordinary event, that the risk of international spread is now low, and that countries currently have the capacity to respond rapidly to new virus emergences.

"Accordingly, in the Committee’s view the Ebola situation in West Africa no longer constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern."

Tags: Africa | Flu & Viruses | World Health

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