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Guinea to Reopen Schools as Ebola Cases Decline

  • VOA News

FILE - Expat children break for lunch at the American International School in Conakry, Guinea

Guinea has announced that all schools will reopen on Monday, following signs the Ebola epidemic in West Africa is beginning to wane.

Schools have been closed for months in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone to halt transmission of the Ebola virus, which is spread through contact with bodily fluids of an infected person.

On Wednesday, the World Health Organization said Guinea had reported its lowest weekly total of new Ebola cases since the week ending August 17. Similar declines were reported in Liberia and Sierra Leone, and the WHO said each of the three countries now has sufficient capacity to isolate and treat their patients.

Ebola Cases and Deaths as of Jan. 13, 2015
Ebola Cases and Deaths as of Jan. 13, 2015

The latest WHO figures show Ebola has killed 8,444 people in the three countries, out of more than 21,000 cases.

The United Nations' Ebola response chief, Dr. David Nabarro, says the latest figures are "very good news" but cautioned the epidemic is not over. In an interview with the Associated Press, Nabarro cautioned there are still "hotspots" where the virus is spreading.

He said the key is getting communities to change traditional healing rituals and funeral practices which involve contact with body fluids.