Guinea declared free of Ebola

Dec 29, 2015, 3:54 PM EST
Source: CDC Global/flickr
Source: CDC Global/flickr

The World Health Organization has announced that Guinea is free of Ebola after more than 2,500 people died from the virus. Liberia is currently the only country still not declared free of the virus. Guinea will now enter a 90-day period of heightened surveillance. Reuters reports:

The world's worst Ebola outbreak began in Gueckedou, eastern Guinea, in December 2013 before spreading to Liberia, Sierra Leone and seven other countries. In all, more than 11,300 people died, almost all in the three worst-affected nations.
Despite Tuesday's milestone, people in the capital, Conakry, greeted the declaration with mixed emotions, given the deaths and the damage the virus did to the economy and the country's health and education sectors.
About 6,200 children have been left orphaned, said Rene Migliani, from Guinea's Ebola coordination centre.
"We definitely cannot let our guard down," said Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "It's certainly possible we will have more cases and more clusters in the coming months."
On Tuesday, about 50 Ebola survivors, journalists, and family members of those who lost loved ones gathered at WHO's Ebola headquarters in Conakry, where the mood was of celebration, mixed with sadness.
"Guinea is a blessed country. We hope that all the dead, and the victims of this disease will be sacrifices to the Guinean nation so that no other epidemic touches us," said survivor Ibrahima Sow.
Mariam Camara, with tears in her eyes, said the country lost some of its best to Ebola, including her mother and brother, among the more than 2,500 people who died in Guinea.
"That cursed disease separated me from that which is most beautiful to me in my life," she said. "But it's over. We are turning a page on Ebola, definitively."