Liberia is officially free of the Ebola virus, the World Health Organization announced Thursday, after the West African country successfully passed 42 days without a confirmed case of this often-fatal disease.
"WHO commends Liberia's government and people on their effective response to this recent re-emergence of Ebola," said Dr. Alex Gasasira, the organization’s representative in Liberia. "WHO will continue to support Liberia in its effort to prevent, detect and respond to suspected cases."
This is the fourth time that Liberia has been declared free of the virus since the epidemic began in December 2013. The most recent flare-up was traced to a woman who’d been exposed to the virus in Guinea and traveled to Liberia with her children. They subsequently became infected.
By late last year, when the WHO declared the Ebola outbreak virtually over, the virus had killed more than 11,000 people in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, the three most heavily affected West African countries.