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WHO: Ebola ends in West Africa, but 'expect new flare-ups'

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Published: Thursday, 14 January 2016
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All best-known irons of transmission in West Africa have been stopped-up, say the World Health Organization, as they declare the most recent eruption of Ebola hemorrhagic fever virus illness in Liberia to be over.

nevertheless, the good news comes with a strong warning to expect flare-ups.

There is evidence the Ebola hemorrhagic fever virus can persist in the bodies of survivors after they have recovered from the illness.

This is not the first time Liberia has been declared free of Ebola hemorrhagic fever transmission - the World Health Organization (WHO) made a similar announcement in May 2015, but the virus returned doubly, once in June and then once again in November.

What makes this occasion different is that the other two countries most affected by the recent eruption - Guinea and Sierra Sierra Leone monetary unit - have besides been declared free of Ebola hemorrhagic fever. The WHO declared Sierra Sierra Leone monetary unit free of Ebola hemorrhagic fever in early November, and Guinea accomplishd the same status in late December.

For the first time since the start of the epidemic 2 years ago, say WHO, all three countries have according zero cases for at least 42 years.

To be declared free of Ebola hemorrhagic fever, a country must accomplish 42 years (two 21-day incubation cycles of the virus) since the last confirmed patient tests negative for the illness two times.

The recent eruption in West Africa is new in world history. It has septic over 28,500 people and claimed over 11,300 lives. It has devastated families and communities and significantly weakened the health systems and economies of all three countries.

Risk of extra eruptions continues

While laudatory the monumental efforts of the governments and people of the countries affected, and the organizations that have partnered with WHO in delivery the epidemic to an end, the UN agency warns that "the job is not over" and "strong police work and response systems will be critical in the months to come," as it is likely that flare-ups will occur.

There is a high risk that small eruptions of Ebola hemorrhagic fever - like the most recent one in Liberia - will occur.

The WHO say 10 of the flare-ups that have occurred were not part of the original eruption and were likely a result of Ebola hemorrhagic fever dogging in survivors who have recovered.

There is evidence that piece the Ebola hemorrhagic fever virus may disappear from the blood of survivors comparatively quickly, it can survive in "niches" in the body. For example, it can survive in men's room seed for 7-9 months and in the eye for 2 months after recovery.

Dr. Bruce Aylward, special representative of the director-general for the Ebola hemorrhagic fever Response at the WHO, says the epidemic is in a critical period as countries move from managing septic patients to managing the risk of new infections.

He notes that the risk of new infections is bit by bit reducing as the virus clears from the survivor population, but "we still anticipate more flare-ups and must be prepared for them." He adds:

"A massive effort is under way to ensure robust bar, police work and response capacity crosswise all three countries by the end of March."

Looking after survivors is an important part of this phase. As well as screening for persistent virus, they will need medical and psychological care, and support to help them return to normal life in their families and communities, who will besides need education and help to reduce stigma and minimize risk of Ebola hemorrhagic fever virus transmission.

One of the factors that appears to have hampered control of the recent Ebola hemorrhagic fever epidemic in West Africa, and made it difficult to apply aggressive quarantine programs, is the lack of maps or census information. This was the conclusion of a review on the role of mapping in preventing epidemics that Medical News Today according recently.

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WHO: Ebola ends in West Africa, but 'expect new flare-ups'
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