WHO officially declared Guinea Ebola-free

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Who: World Health Organization
What: Declared Guinea Ebola-free
When: 29 December 2015

The World Health Organization (WHO) on 29 December 2015 declared the end of Ebola virus transmission in the Republic of Guinea. The organization took the decision after observing that 42 days have passed since the last person confirmed to have Ebola virus disease and tested negative now.

Guinea now enters a 90-day period of heightened surveillance to ensure that any new cases are identified quickly before they can spread to other people.

The decision came after more than 2500 people died from the virus in the West African nation. With this, Liberia becomes the only country still counting down for an end to this ruinous epidemic.

End of Ebola virus in Guinea: A milestone for the Ebola outbreak
The end of Ebola transmission in Guinea marks an important milestone in the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The original chain of transmission started two years ago in Gueckedou, Guinea in late December 2013.

The outbreak later spread to neighbouring countries Liberia and Sierra Leone and ultimately travelled to seven other countries. The total number of people infected with Ebola eventually totalled more than 28000. And the number of people who died from the disease reached more than 11200.

In addition to the original chain of transmission, there have been 10 new small Ebola outbreaks between March and November 2015. These appear to have been due to the re-emergence of a persistent virus from the survivor population.

This is for 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.

WHO and its partners are working with the Governments of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea to help ensure that survivors have access to medical and psychosocial care. WHO will continue to maintain surveillance and outbreak response teams in the three countries through 2016.