The World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday, January 14, announced that the Ebola epidemic that has ravaged West Africa for two years was over after Liberia, the last affected country, received the all-clear. "Today the World Health Organization declares the end of the most recent outbreak of Ebola virus disease in Liberia and says all known chains of transmission have been stopped in West Africa," the UN health agency said. It however stressed that the job is not over as it is too early to declare an end to the epidemic. "We need to remain engaged," Peter Graaff, WHO director responsible for Ebola response, told reporters. "We still anticipate more flare-ups and must be prepared for them" he added One of the most feared diseases in the world, Ebola killed more than 11,000 people across west Africa after it surfaced in southern Guinea in December 2013. At its peak, the tropical haemorrhagic virus devastated Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, dealing a hammer blow to weak economies and fragile health systems. The announcement came 42 days -- the equivalent of two incubation periods of the virus--after the last Ebola cases in Liberia were tested negative. The outbreak infected almost 29,000 people and claimed 11,315 lives, according to official data.
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