The two-year Ebola outbreak in West Africa is expected to be declared over by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday.
On Jan 14, the outbreak in Liberia will officially be over after 42 consecutive days of no reported cases, and after the people most recently infected test negative for the Ebola virus. Guinea and Sierra Leone reached similar milestones in the past few months.
Still, while Liberia will be the last country to be declared Ebola-free, it will continue to undergo a period of heightened surveillance. Countries have been declared Ebola-free in the past only to have more infections reported later on. Still, if no cases are reported in Liberia, Thursday will mark a big moment in the fight against Ebola, with no new cases anywhere in the world.
“We will remain careful and keep calling on the population to take the necessary measures in preventing reoccurrence,” Francis Karteh, Liberia’s chief medical officer, said according to The Guardian.
Collectively, the Ebola virus infected over 28,600 people in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, and killed over 11,000 people.