WHO Declares End Of Ebola Epidemic In Sierra Leone; Country Enters 90-Day Intensive Surveillance Period

News outlets report on the WHO’s declaration made Saturday that Ebola virus transmission has been stopped in Sierra Leone.

Al Jazeera America: Sierra Leone declared free of Ebola
“The World Health Organization on Saturday declared Sierra Leone free from Ebola transmissions, as a battle continues to stamp out the deadly virus in neighboring Guinea…” (11/7).

Associated Press: Sierra Leone declared free of Ebola, as Guinea struggles
“…Nearly 4,000 people have died in Sierra Leone of Ebola since the outbreak began in late 2013. The World Health Organization said 42 days have passed since the country’s last confirmed Ebola patient was discharged on Sept. 25 after two consecutive negative test results…” (Roy-Macaulay, 11/7).

The Atlantic: Sierra Leone’s Long Road to Becoming Ebola-Free
“…In Sierra Leone, 8,704 people were infected and 3,589 died of the disease. About 4,000 survived. More than 12,000 children were orphaned as a result of the outbreak, according to a report by the British charity Street Child. The average age of orphans was nine…” (Koren, 11/7).

Deutsche Welle: World Health Organization (WHO) declares Sierra Leone free of Ebola
“…[A]uthorities in Sierra Leone have been warned to remain vigilant as the country enters a 90-day intensive surveillance period…” (11/7).

The Guardian: WHO officially declares Sierra Leone Ebola-free
“…The National Ebola Response Centre (NERC) will continue to operate until the end of the year, and the swabbing of all dead bodies for Ebola will be mandatory until June 2016. [President Ernest Bai] Koroma said he was ‘humbled by the dedication’ of 35,000 Ebola response workers ‘whose heroism is without parallel in the history of our country’…” (O’Carroll/Fofana, 11/7).

PBS NewsHour: WHO: Sierra Leone is free of Ebola
“… ‘The world had never faced an Ebola outbreak of this scale and magnitude and the world has neither seen a nation mobilizing its people and resources as Sierra Leone did,’ Dr. Anders Nordström, the WHO representative in Sierra Leone, said on Saturday. ‘The power of the people of Sierra Leone is the reason why we could put an end to this outbreak today’…” (Mach, 11/7).

Quartz: Sierra Leone is free of Ebola, says the WHO
“…Medical experts and scientists have been careful not to jump the gun in declaring the disease defeated, because of the unprecedented strength of last year’s epidemic and a lack of proven vaccines or cures…” (Adegoke, 11/7).

U.N. News Centre: Ebola virus transmission has been stopped in Sierra Leone — U.N. health agency
“…The strong leadership of the Sierra Leone government, working with partners from around the globe, mobilized the necessary expertise needed to contain the outbreak. … WHO says that it will maintain an enhanced staff presence in Sierra Leone during this transition from outbreak control, to enhanced vigilance, to the recovery of essential health services…” (11/7).

Washington Post: Sierra Leone is free of Ebola, 18 months and 4,000 deaths after outbreak
“…Before Ebola arrived, Sierra Leone’s economy was expected to grow by about 11 percent in 2014 — making the country one of West Africa’s economic bright spots. The World Bank now estimates that Sierra Leone’s economy will shrink by 23.5 percent this year and will lose $1.4 billion in growth as a result of the outbreak…” (Sieff, 11/7).

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