The World Health Organization declares that Guinea is now free of the disease, two years after it made its appearance there, triggering a global panic. The disease killed over 11,000 people in that country and in Liberia and Sierra Leone. Liberia was declared disease-free in September while Sierra Leone was cleared in November.
This success in ending this frightening disease has to be attributed to courageous health workers many of whom died while treating the sick. Authorities are continuing to urge vigilance because Ebola has been beaten before only to have cases recur so public health authorities are urging continued vigilance.
A country is considered free of human-to-human transmission once two 21-day incubation periods have passed since the last known case tested negative for a second time.
“It’s the best year-end present that God could give to Guinea, and the best news that Guineans could hope for,” Ebola survivor Alama Kambou Dore told AFP news agency.
Local health workers echoed a warning from the WHO that vigilance was still vital despite the mood of celebration.
“We have to be very careful, because even if open transmission has been stopped, the disease has not been totally defeated,” said Alpha Seny Souhmah, a Guinean health worker and Ebola survivor.
You can see a timeline of the disease.
It is hard to imagine that just a short while ago in the US, some politicians like Chris Christie were freaking out over the threat and taking extreme measures such as isolating Doctors Without Borders nurse Kati Hickox in a plastic tent even though she had tested negative for the disease. She is now suing him for violating her constitutional rights.