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WHO: Ebola Epidemic Over, but Continued Preparedness Vital

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared that the Ebola outbreak in West Africa is over, following the Jan. 15 declaration of Liberia as free of Ebola.

WHO warns that Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone remain at high risk of flare-ups of the disease due to the virus persisting in survivors even after recovery. The Ebola virus, which departs survivors relatively quickly, may be sexually transmitted from male survivors for up to one year. A small flare-up was also confirmed on Jan. 15 in Sierra Leone.

Due to these flare-ups, the WHO urges authorities to remain prepared for Ebola prevention, surveillance, and response. People who travel to Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone should watch for fever or other symptoms for 21 days after they leave the country and contact their state or local health department if symptoms develop during this time.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has resources for evaluating travelers showing symptoms of Ebola. America’s Essential Hospitals has also compiled a list of resources to help members detect cases, protect employees, and respond to infectious diseases effectively.

Contact Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at or 202.585.0127 with questions.


About the Author

Matt Buechner is the policy and advocacy associate for America's Essential Hospitals.

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