Liberia Officially Declared Free of Ebola Transmission

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced on September 3 that Liberia is free of Ebola virus transmission in the human population – something that has not been the case since the first diagnosis was reported in West Africa in March 2014.

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced on September 3 that Liberia is free of Ebola virus transmission in the human population — something that has not been the case since the first diagnosis was reported in West Africa in March 2014.

The last individual with a confirmed case of the deadly disease tested negative for the second time 42 days ago on July 22. Now the country enters a 90-day period of heightened surveillance. This is not the first time that Liberia has been declared Ebola-free, however, hopefully it’s the last.

On May 9, 2015, officials declared that the risk of transmission was over but that status changed halfway through the 90-day observation period. On June 29, a post-mortem swab was taken from a patient who had died one day prior. The test came back positive for Ebola and another six individuals were found to be infected as well. Response efforts were immediately put into action and upon investigation, an additional five more Ebola cases emerged with two resulting in death.

During this current 90-day heightened surveillance period, the WHO will continue to support the Liberian government with recovery efforts.

“Liberia’s ability to effectively respond to the outbreak of Ebola virus disease is due to intensified vigilance and rapid response by the government and multiple partners,” the statement said. “WHO commends the Government of Liberia and its people on the successful response to this recent re-emergence.”

This announcement is especially encouraging since recent studies reported by MD Magazine found that Ebola can move through wastewater and physicians are too confident in their ability to assess the disease.