Sierra Leone has been declared Ebola free by the World health organization (WHO) after a prolong outbreak of 18 months.
Celebrations are underway in Sierra Leone, populations rejoice as the country has been declared Ebola free by the WHO after an outbreak that lasted for some eighteen months. For the past forty two days, no new case has been declared, yet some people from reports still fear the resurgence of deadly Ebola. The epidemic that hampered Sierra Leone for the past months has killed an estimated 4.000 people.
For more than a year, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea have been experiencing the largest and most complex outbreak of Ebola in history. Cases continue to be reported in Guinea. Currently, there are no known cases of Ebola in Liberia and Sierra Leone. The health system in Sierra Leone has been monitoring for new cases and to take precautions to prevent transmission in the country.
What is Ebola?
According to health experts, Ebola is a rare and deadly disease. The disease is caused by infection with one of the Ebola virus species (Zaire ebolavirus, Sudan ebolavirus, Bundibugyo ebolavirus, or Tai Forest ebolavirus). Ebola is spread by direct contact through broken skin or mucous membranes in, for example, the eyes.
Signs of Ebola include fever and symptoms such as severe headache, fatigue that is feeling very tired, muscle pain, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, or unexplained bleeding or bruising.
Who is at risk?
Travelers could be infected if they come into contact with blood or body fluids from someone who is sick with Ebola or has died from Ebola. Healthcare workers and the family and friends in close contact with patients with Ebola are most at risk of getting sick because they may come in contact with infected blood or body fluids.
People also can become sick with Ebola if they come into contact with infected wildlife or raw or undercooked bushmeat (wild animals hunted for food) from an infected animal.
Ebola virus has been found in the semen of some men who have recovered from Ebola. It is possible that Ebola could be spread through sex or other contact with semen. It is not known how long Ebola might be found in the semen of male Ebola survivors. Based on the results from limited studies conducted to date, it appears that the amount of virus decreases over time and eventually leaves the semen. CDC and other public health partners are continuing to study how Ebola is spread and will share what is known as it becomes available.