Why Sierra Leone's "last" case of Ebola may not be its last

10/06/2015 12:05 | 21

Why Sierra Leone's "last" case of Ebola may not be its last

Sierra Leone's final recognized Ebola affected person has been launched from hospital, elevating hopes the west African nation might lastly have crushed the devastating epidemic.

"The Ebola battle just isn't but over - go and inform members of your group that", the president stated when presenting the certificates to the lady.

Surrounded by singing, dancing and clapping health-care workers, Adama Sankou, palm oil trader, was released from the Makheni Ebola treatment unit. "As the president put it so nicely: 'Ebola not done yet" and that's exactly right.

Liberia's Ebola outbreak will officially end next week if no new cases are confirmed, while Sierra Leone will reach the same landmark if it stays clean until October, said Margaret Harris, WHO spokeswoman.

Now, she said, she knows that safe burial and thorough handwashing is essential for protecting against Ebola virus disease.

Ebola is now considered under control in Liberia, where 10,672 cases have been reported and 4,808 people have died. The 42-day period begins on Tuesday, 25 August.

According to the World Health Organization's (WHO) rules, a country can be declared Ebola-free in 42 days after the last registered case would show the negative reaction for the virus twice.

WHO spokesperson Tarik Jasarevic confirmed the importance of this milestone.

"Surveillance, searching for cases, notifying any deaths in the community, testing anyone with Ebola symptoms, all must continue intensively".

In another development, Sierra Leone's ministry of health has announced that the Guinean Ebola Ring Vaccine Trial has been extended to Sierra Leone, as a move to stop cross-border transmissions. But president Ernest Bai Koroma, who joined the ceremony, warned the participants: "The Ebola fight is not yet over".

Training of Sierra Leonean doctors and nurses in the use of the vaccine will be carried out by experts from the UK.

Two other healthcare workers, who also sustained accidental "needlestick injuries" while working in Ebola treatment centre "red zones" were also given the drug, and neither developed the disease.

"It is possible that none of these health-care workers were infected with Ebola virus".

"All of this is superseded if the vaccine is really effective but it's nearly impossible to envisage a situation where Ebola would arrive and you would have an entirely vaccinated population".

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