The WHO has declared Liberia free of Ebola after no new cases were reported for 42 days. However, officials have said they will be cautious about celebrating as the virus is not yet gone from the region.
The World Heath Organization (WHO) has released a report on Saturday calling Liberia free of the Ebola disease, after twice the virus' incubation period passed without any new cases. The last Ebola patient in Liberia died on March 27, the organization said in a statement.
WHO recorded more than 4,700 Ebola deaths in Liberia, and over 10,500 infections. While the number of infections was lower than in neighboring Sierra Leone, Liberia lost more patients to the disease; it was hard-hit by the outbreak due to a lack of health services.
Officials and survivors said they are cautious about openly celebrating the end of Ebola in Liberia, as the virus is yet not out of the region. "We're proud of what we collectively managed to do but we need to remain vigilant," said Peter Jan Graaff, head of the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response.
Elsewhere in West Africa, however, new cases were reported this week in Sierra Leone and in Guinea, the other two countries hit hardest by the Ebola outbreak. According to WHO's latest situation report, each country recorded nine cases for the week ending May 3.
#link:18313100:Some 11,020 people have died since the Ebola outbreak began in December 2013, while more than 26,000 have been infected.
ra/jr (AP, dpa)