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WHO Says Ebola No Longer Gl
obal Health Threat
MONROVIA, March 30 (LINA) - The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced that the Ebola outbreak in West Africa is no longer a public health emergency of international concern.
The announcement came after an emergency committee meeting to review the situation in the key countries of Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.
According to the WHO, the committee noted that since its last meeting, all three countries have met the criteria for confirming interruption of their original chains of Ebola virus transmission.
"Specifically, all three countries have now completed the 42-day observation period and additional 90-day enhanced surveillance period since their last case that was linked to the original chain of transmission twice tested negative," it said.
The WHO said as expected, there have been "flare-ups" and a handful of new cases, most recently in Guinea, that relate to a new single chain of transmission.
That case has infected eight people and seven of them have died.
The committee reviewed the data from those cases and determined that there is enough expertise on the ground to contain the spread, meaning the risk of the current cases leading to the spread of the disease is low.
The committee said it believes there will soon be even fewer of these clusters.
As of March 2016, about 11,320 people had died in the epidemic. Guinea lost 2,540 people, Sierra Leone lost 3,956 and Liberia lost 4,809 and there were a handful of deaths in other countries, including in Nigeria, where there were eight cases.
Mali lost six people and the United States lost one.
Meanwhile, WHO Director General Margaret Chan has said any remaining travel or trade restrictions put in place at the height of the epidemic to help limit the spread of the deadly virus should be lifted.
The WHO also urged the international health community to keep up the fight against future outbreaks of the disease and to continue work on a vaccine.