WHO Declares End of Ebola in Liberia, but Threat of Re-Infection Still Remains

Created on Wednesday, 10 February 2016

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has announced that the Ebola transmissions have come to an end in West Africa. Ebola had already been eradicated in Guinea and Sierra Leone in November and December 2015. In January, Liberia, the third country greatly affected by the outbreak, celebrated 42 days without new Ebola cases. This gives sufficient grounds to believe that the disease has been eradicated.

The EU welcomes the end of Ebola transmissions, but will continue supporting affected countries. Since the start of the outbreak, the EU has been at the forefront of the international response. It has mobilised over €2 billion in humanitarian aid, technical expertise and research and established an EU medical evacuation facility for all international health workers in West Africa.

According to EU Ebola Coordinator and Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides, “thanks to the effort of health workers, ordinary people, and governments in the three affected countries, combined with an unprecedented international response, the fight against the disease has been won”.

Although the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has been declared to be over, there is still a risk of re-infection. Therefore the focus of the international response is now shifting from emergency to development, with a clear need to improve the health systems in West Africa and to invest in effective and resilient alert and response mechanisms.

More information is available here.