WHO Declares End to Second Ebola Outbreak in Guinea

By Agence France-Presse

A member of the French Red Cross disinfects the area around a motionless person suspected of carrying the Ebola virus as a crowd gathers in Forecariah, Guinea, Jan. 30, 2015.

The World Health Organization officially announced Saturday the end of Guinea’s second Ebola outbreak, which was declared in February and claimed 12 lives.

At 16 confirmed cases and seven probable infections, according to WHO figures, the limited size of the flare-up has been credited to experience from the 2013-16 epidemic, which killed more than 11,300 people, mostly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

“I have the honor of declaring the end of Ebola” in Guinea, WHO official Alfred Ki-Zerbo said at a ceremony in the southeastern Nzerekore region, where the disease surfaced at the end of January.

International rules meant that Guinea had to wait 42 days — twice the virus’s incubation period — without a new case before declaring the epidemic over.

That wait was over Friday, weeks after the last person was declared cured on May 8, a senior health ministry official told AFP.

Health Minister Remy Lamah also declared the outbreak finished “in the name of the head of state,” President Alpha Conde.

Saturday’s event in a health ministry building was attended by around 200 people, including local religious and community leaders.

“We must also thank the communities who pitched in to overcome the disease,” the WHO’s Ki-Zerbo said.

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