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Ebola is no longer a threat

By on March 30, 2016

Ebola is no longer an “extraordinary health event” and the risk of the virus spreading is low, the World Health Organization says (WHO) said on Tuesday, declaring an end to a nearly 20-month emergency that has killed about 11,300 people.

Dr. Margaret Chan, WHO director-general, accepted the recommendations of a committee of independent experts who also called for lifting any travel and trade restrictions affecting Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

“The Committee provided its view that Ebola transmission in West Africa no longer constitutes an extraordinary event, that the risk of international spread is now low, and that countries currently have the capacity to respond rapidly to new virus emergences,” the WHO said in a statement.

The virus is carried in bodily fluids – blood, vomit and saliva – which means people who care for the sick are vulnerable to catching the infection.
It has also been detected in the semen of male survivors, and the WHO says.

All original chains of virus transmission have ended, but a new chain in Guinea has infected eight people including seven who have died, it said.
A small cluster of cases are still occurring in Guinea, but Sierra Leone and Liberia have not had any in months.
But experts say countries must remain vigilant for new flare ups of Ebola.
But there should be no restrictions on travel and trade with Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone – any such measures should be lifted immediately, WHO says.

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