According to a recent report, 166 people that had been monitored for three weeks over concerns that they may spread the deadly virus ended their surveillance period on Dec. 11. Health experts hope that with these cases it may be the last time they hear about Ebola in the West-African country.
In Liberia, the epidemic wreaked havoc among its inhabitants, and the country was one of the three badly hit regions in West Africa. But recently, Liberia was the also first country in the trio to be declared Ebola-free.
Initially, health experts said that the country was clean in May. But as new cases surfaced, they had to rethink their strategies and eventually declare that the epidemic was over in September. Yet, new cases and people with symptoms placed authorities on a state of alert once more.
On Friday, health authorities announced that the 166 suspected Ebola cases which included some healthcare workers who had been involved in handling the country’s last Ebola patient were all tied to either the patient or his family members.
Tolbert Nyenswah, head of the country’s team for Ebola response, noticed that the patients were tracked for 21 days and none of them displayed any symptoms. Nyenswah concluded that the situation is a clear piece of evidence that there isn’t any active transmission of the virus in Liberia for the moment being.
Ebola killed over 4,800 patients in Liberia alone since the epidemic’s debut in 2013. Overall, about 11,300 people lost their lives to the deadly infection in West Africa. If the situation remains stable, Liberia will be deemed Ebola-free once more next month, health experts said.
Sierra Leone, one of the three countries which were the worst hit by the outbreak, was declared Ebola-free last month. Guinea, which has a long history of battling the disease, since its first Ebola cases were reported two years ago, said that it has recently discharged its last patient.
Ebola’s onset is announced by flu-like symptoms such as headaches, fever, chills, and muscle pain. But as the disease progresses, the patient may end up with an internal bleeding which may make him or her vomit or cough blood in the final stages.
The latest outbreak in West Africa was the most devastating to date and triggered international alert. This epidemic showed authorities how fast the virus can spread from one patient to another in the latest stages.
Healthcare workers that helped during the crisis were also diagnosed with the viral infection. In the U.S. two healthcare workers returned as suspected cases, but they were declared virus-free in August 2014.
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