Tag: WHO

World Health Organization Declares the End of Ebola in Guinea

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A health worker wearing protective equipment assists an Ebola patient at the Kenema, Sierra Leone, treatment center run by the Red Cross Society Nov. 15, 2014.  (FRANCISCO LEONG/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

The World Health Organization recently declared Guinea free of Ebola transmission, and Guineans plan to celebrate.

The West African country was the site where the original Ebola chain of transmission began two years ago. A menacing disease, it spread to Liberia, Sierra Leone and seven additional countries. According to the New York Times, the December 2013 Ebola outbreak led to its largest epidemic in history—taking more than 11,300 lives worldwide.

WHO notes that over 40 days have passed since the last person confirmed to have Ebola tested negative for a second time (which was after an incubation period). Further, Guinea is under a 90-day surveillance period to identify and treat new cases of the virus.

Still, WHO doctors remain hopeful.

“This is the first time that all three countries—Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone—have stopped the original chains of transmission that were responsible for starting this devastating outbreak two years ago,” says Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO regional director for Africa.

Read more at the New York Times and BBC News.

article by Felice León via theroot.com

Nigeria and Senegal Declared Free of Ebola Virus by World Health Organization

Screen Shot 2014-10-20 at 11.03.30 PMNigeria has been declared officially free of Ebola after six weeks with no new cases, the World Health Organization (WHO) says.  WHO representative Rui Gama Vaz, speaking in the capital Abuja, said it was a “spectacular success story”.

Nigeria won praise for its swift response after a Liberian diplomat brought the disease there in July.  The outbreak has killed more than 4,500 people in West Africa, mostly in Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone.

An estimated 70% of those infected have died in those countries.  The WHO officially declared Senegal Ebola-free on Friday.

Meanwhile, European Union foreign ministers are meeting in Luxembourg to discuss how to strengthen their response to the threat posed by Ebola.

Speaking on the sidelines, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said he expected the meeting to appoint a co-ordinator to galvanize the EU’s response to the epidemic.

“My colleagues are unanimous in saying that this idea of a European co-ordinator for the fight against Ebola is a good idea. The name will be chosen in the coming days. I think it’s a very important step.”

European countries have committed more than 500m euros (£400m; $600m) but the UK is pressing to double that amount.

The money is being sought to help reinforce over-stretched healthcare systems in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea and to mitigate the damage Ebola is doing to their economies.

Earlier, the Spanish government said a nurse who became the first person to contract Ebola outside West Africa had tested negative for the virus.

article via bbc.com