Sierra Leone Records Zero New Ebola Infections for 1st Time Since Epidemic Hit

Abena Agyeman-Fisher August 18, 2015

Sierra Leone

Football fans with a sign saying, “Stop Ebola,” during a September qualifying match between Ivory Coast and Sierra Leone for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations. Credit Luc Gnago/Reuters

After 15 months since the Ebola virus broke out in Sierra Leone, the West African nation has finally recorded zero new infections, reports the BBC.


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At the disease’s apex, 500 Sierra Leoneans were being infected each week; however, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), last week marked the first time the nation recorded zero new infections since the disease made its devastating debut in May 2014.

In Sierra Leone, alone, 13,489 people were infected with the disease. A total of 3,952 of those infected succumbed to the disease, making it the worst-hit country among neighbors Guinea and Liberia, according to the Centers for Disease and Control.

Therefore, even with the good news, health authorities continue to warn the public against complacency, with National Ebola Response Centre (NERC) Director OB Sisay, insisting, “As long as we have one Ebola case we still have an epidemic. People should continue to take the public health measures…around hand-washing, temperature checks, enhanced screening.”

sierra leone

Still, the warnings cannot steal the people’s joy; the news of no new infections is indeed a hard-won achievement worth celebrating.

Sisay adds, “People are really happy.

“The jubilations haven’t started yet because we are constantly on the radio saying it’s not over yet, but people are extremely pleased that they are [starting to] see the end of this.”

Currently, there are just two patients who are being treated for the virus as well as another 81 people who are being monitored after having had contact with infected individuals.

Not to be taken lightly, there are also four “contacts” who are missing; therefore, it will still be some time before the nation can be called “Ebola-free.”

The First Ebola-Free Declaration

In May, Liberia was declared “Ebola-free.”

In celebration, the nation established a national holiday to mark the important achievement.

Six more cases would crop up afterward, though, claiming two more lives. Fortunately, Liberia hasn’t had a new case since July 23.

Meanwhile, Guinea is yet to be Ebola-free as it clocked in three new infections last week. Of the three affected countries, it had the fewest number of infections and deaths at 3,790 and 2,524, respectively.

Back to Normal

The good news in Sierra Leone prompted President Ernest Bai Koroma to lift a quarantine on another village last Friday.

In addition, the last few weeks have seen the re-opening of nightclubs and theaters as well as the extension of markets’ operating hours.

SEE ALSO: Nigerian Hospital Live Tweets Open Heart Surgery of 8-Year-Old

Last Edited by:Abena Agyeman-Fisher Updated: June 19, 2018


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