Ebola outbreak in West Africa

Associated Press
Ebola health care workers carry the body of a middle aged man that they suspected of dying from the Ebola, on the outskirts of Monrovia, Liberia, Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014. Dr. Robert Fuller didn't hesitate to go to Indonesia to treat survivors of the 2004 tsunami, to Haiti to help after the 2010 earthquake or to the Philippines after a devastating typhoon last year. But he's given up on going to West Africa to care for Ebola patients this winter.  (AP Photo/ Abbas Dulleh)

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The world breathed a sigh of relief on Jan. 14, 2016, as a two-year Ebola epidemic that killed 11,000 and triggered a global health alert was declared over, with Liberia the last country given the all-clear.

The deadliest outbreak in the history of the feared tropical virus wrecked the economies and health systems of the three worst-hit west African nations after it emerged in southern Guinea in December 2013.

At its peak, it devastated Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, with bodies piling up in the streets and overwhelmed hospitals recording hundreds of new cases a week.

Rick Brennan, the World Health Organization's chief of emergency risk management, hailed an important milestone but told reporters in Geneva that "the job is still not done", pointing out that there had already been 10 small flare-ups because of the persistance of the virus in survivors.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon warned the region can expect sporadic cases in the coming year but added "we also expect the potential and frequency of those flare-ups to decrease over time". (AFP)


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