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The WHO will announce the end of a two-year Ebola outbreak on January 15, 2016, to "mark 42 days since the last Ebola cases in Liberia were tested negative"

The WHO will announce the end of a two-year Ebola outbreak on January 15, 2016, to "mark 42 days since the last Ebola cases in Liberia were tested negative" (AFP Photo/Evan Schneider)

Ebola outbreak in West Africa

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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