Noting that 42 days have now passed since the last person confirmed to have Ebola virus disease had a second negative blood test, officials with the World Health Organization have noted that Ebola virus transmission has been stopped in Sierra Leone.
Forty-two days equates to two Ebola virus incubation cycles, WHO officials said in a prepared statement.
“Since Sierra Leone recorded the first Ebola case in May 2014, a total number of 8704 people were infected and 3589 have died, 221 of them healthcare workers, all of whom we remember on this day” Anders Nordström, WHO Representative in Sierra Leone said in the statement.
The country now enters a 90-day period of enhanced surveillance. This new phase ensures early detection of any possible new cases of Ebola virus disease.
In the statement, officials with the World Health Organization commended the Government of Sierra Leone, noting the country achieved “this milestone through tremendous hard work and commitment while battling the most unprecedented Ebola virus disease outbreak in human history.”
The use of rapid response teams and strong community involvement became the cornerstone of the national response strategy. International partners supported the government to maintain a rapid response capacity to detect, identify and shut down any new transmission chains, and also contributed technical assistance, personnel, food, supplies and equipment.