Ebola: one year later

Joanne Corrielus, Staff Writer

Exactly a year ago, the world was on high alert as the Ebola virus ran rampant throughout West Africa and made landfall here in the United States. Now, one year since the epidemic, the Ebola virus has been completely eradicated from both Sierra Leone and Liberia. New strides are being made each and every day to prevent the disease from spreading once again.

During the height of the Ebola epidemic, the West African countries hardest-hit were Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), as of Nov. 7, the transmission of the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone has ended. The WHO came to this conclusion after 42 days (two incubation periods) passed since the last person diagnosed with the virus in Sierra Leone had a second negative blood test.

In order to ensure that this status remains the same, Sierra Leone will enter a 90-day intensive surveillance period in the hopes of detecting any flare-ups in Ebola cases. During this 90-day period, the WHO will continue to provide assistance to Sierra Leone, according to the WHO website.

This same feat was accomplished by Liberia just two months ago, when the WHO declared Liberia Ebola-free on Sept. 21.

Junior Nathalie Tigua thinks that these strides are a great accomplishment for the international medical community.

“I think it’s a great thing because Ebola is a deadly disease and people are no longer dying from it is a victory,” Tigua said. “Death is never a good thing so this is amazing.”

As great as these accomplishments are, it is hard to forget about the thousands of people who lost their lives due to the virus.

Junior Shanyse Clark believes the disease should still be covered in the media.

“It amazes me that, since Ebola doesn’t affect America anymore, it’s not our concern and has drifted out of headlines,” she said.

In the United States, there were four-laboratory diagnosed cases of Ebola throughout the September and October months of 2014.

According to the WHO, as of Nov. 10, more than 11 thousand people have died from the Ebola virus. In the West African country of Guinea, the fight to end the transmission of Ebola continues.