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WHO declares Guinea free of Ebola Virus

Cynthia GoldsmithThis colorized transmission electron micrograph (TEM) revealed some of the ultrastructural morphology displayed by an Ebola virus virion. See PHIL 1832 for a black and white version of this image.Where is Ebola virus found in nature?The exact origin, locations, and natural habitat (known as the "natural reservoir") of Ebola virus remain unknown. However, on the basis of available evidence and the nature of similar viruses, researchers believe that the virus is zoonotic (animal-borne) and is normally maintained in an animal host that is native to the African continent. A similar host is probably associated with Ebola-Reston which was isolated from infected cynomolgous monkeys that were imported to the United States and Italy from the Philippines. The virus is not known to be native to other continents, such as North America.
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The Ebola outbreak in Guinea is over, the World Health Organisation said on Wednesday, the second time the West African nation has been declared free of the virus.

It has been six weeks since the last confirmed Ebola patient tested negative for the virus, according to the WHO report.

The source of infection for the latest outbreak had likely been exposure to infected bodily fluid from an Ebola survivor.

After having been declared free of Ebola in December, Guinea reported seven confirmed and three probable infections in March and April.

The country now enters a 90-day period of heightened surveillance to ensure that any new cases are identified before they can spread.

“We must continue to be vigilant to ensure that we rapidly detect and stop any new cases that may occur,” said WHO Guinea representative Abou Bekr Gaye.

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In neighbouring Liberia, three new Ebola cases were reported in early April, with the last patient testing negative on April 28.

If no new cases occur, Liberia will be declared free of Ebola by June 9.

The WHO nevertheless lifted its global health alert on Ebola at the end of March, meaning the virus no longer constitutes a global health emergency.

The disease has killed more than 11,000 people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone since the outbreak began in December 2013.


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