THE Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa is no longer a public health emergency because countries are now able to rapidly respond to new virus outbursts, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced in a statement on Tuesday.
“Ebola transmission in West Africa no longer constitutes an extraordinary event, that the risk of international spread is now low, and that countries currently have the capacity to respond rapidly to new virus emergences,” the WHO said. “Accordingly, in the Committee’s view the Ebola situation in West Africa no longer constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.”
The most recent Ebola outbreak started in December 2013 in Guinea and later spread to Liberia and Sierra Leone. So far, the virus has claimed the lives of over 11,000 people, according to WHO’s estimates.
The health agency added that all temporary recommendations adopted in wake of the Ebola response in West Africa “should now be terminated,” and that any travel and trade restrictions with Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone “should be lifted immediately.”
The WHO noted that the three African countries completed the 42-day observation period and 90-day enhanced surveillance period since its last reported Ebola cases.
Earlier in March, the WHO confirmed two new Ebola cases in Guinea after the outbreak had been declared in neighboring Sierra Leone. On Tuesday, the agency noted that the latest case reported in Guinea is ongoing, but that it was ‘impressed’ that similar such clusters had been detected and responded to quickly. – Sputnik