After being hit hardest by the Ebola outbreak, Guinea has been “declared free of any cases of the deadly virus,” reports The Huffington Post.
The World Health Organization declared the country Ebola-free on Tuesday after it went 42 days–the amount of time in two incubation cycles for the disease–without any reports of new infections, notes the news outlet.
According to The New York Times, the last known patient in Guinea was a three-week-old girl who tested negative for the virus twice in November.
The worst outbreak of Ebola started with a patient about two years ago in Guinea and rapidly spread to neighboring countries in West Africa and as distant as the United States, notes the report. The crisis killed more than 11,000 people, mostly in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, according to the World Health Organization.
The first fatality from the current outbreak was traced to a 2-year-old boy in Guinea in December 2013, though the WHO didn’t identify the disease until March 2014. Transmitted through contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person, Ebola killed more than 2,500 people in Guinea.
Controlling the outbreak strained the resources of countries like Guinea, which had a weak public health system. The epidemic originated in a rural area, where the government’s presence is even less visible. The poorly understood disease, which causes violent diarrhea and vomiting, also created widespread panic.
An experimental drug, Zmapp, was first used on an American medical missionary infected, and later was used on patients in Guinea and other countries. But its effectiveness hasn’t been determined and medical experts have said that the outbreak was finally brought under control by educating people about how it was passed from one person to another, according to Dr. Joel Selanikio, a pediatrics professor at Georgetown University who treated patients in Sierra Leone.
Guinea officials, non-governmental organizations, and other representatives plan to celebrate the occasion Wednesday at a ceremony.
SOURCE: The Huffington Post | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty | VIDEO CREDIT: Inform