With one and a half years passing and 14,000 cases, Sierra Leone is officially Ebola-free, according to the World Health Organization. In an announcement made on Friday, the WHO shared that two Ebola virus incubation cycles have passed since the last person confirmed to have been diagnosed with the disease had a second negative blood test.
CNN reports that since the outbreak peaked last year, with patients dying by the thousands, months have passed with this major peak in negative cases just being confirmed. There is still work to do, however, to make sure that it stays that way.
"We now have a unique opportunity to support Sierra Leone to build a strong and resilient public health system ready to detect and respond to the next outbreak of the disease or any other public threat," said Dr. Anders Nordstrom, WHO's representative in Sierra Leone.
According to WHO, Sierra Leone alone housed about half of the 28,000 individuals documented as being tied to the Ebola outbreak. Though thousands of survivors are still fighting for their lives due to other ongoing health problems, the WHO credited Sierra Leone's collaborative efforts with international partners for helping curb the hit.
Other regions still have some ways to go. Guinea, which borders Sierra Leone, reported a new case just this week, of a child born to a 25-year-old woman with the virus, reports the WHO. She is currently undergoing treatment.
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(Photo: AP Photo/Aurelie Marrier d'Unienvil)
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