WHO declares end of Ebola virus transmission in the Republic of Guinea
On the 29th December 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the end of Ebola virus transmission in the Republic of Guinea. Guinea now enters a 90-day period of heightened surveillance to ensure that any new cases are identified quickly before they can spread to other people.
This is the first time that all three countries – Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone – have stopped the original chains of transmission that were responsible for starting this devastating outbreak two years ago.
In addition to the original chain of transmission, there have been 10 new small Ebola outbreaks (or ‘flares’) between March and November 2015. These appear to have been due to the re-emergence of a persistent virus from the survivor population. Among the challenges survivors have faced is that after recovering from Ebola virus disease and clearing the virus from their bloodstream, the virus may persist in the semen of some male survivors for as long as 9-12 months.
On August 8 2014, WHO declared the Ebola outbreak in West Africa to be a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. To date, no confirmed, or suspected, cases of Ebola have been identified in Ireland.