The World Health Organization (WHO) has finally declared Liberia free of the deadly Ebola virus. This development is coming after the country confirmed no new cases in 42 days. Over 4,000 people have died from the disease in the region, the last confirmed death was on 27 March.
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf told the BBC. “We will celebrate our communities which have taken responsibility and participated in fighting this unknown enemy and finally we’ve crossed the Rubicon. Liberia indeed is a happy nation. It has been a terrible time in the history of our country.”
WHO has also warned that the EVD can be transmitted sexually. The organization has however urged survivors and sexual partners receive counselling.
It said in a statement. “The sexual transmission of the Ebola Virus from males to females is a strong possibility, but has not yet been proven; less probable, but theoretically possible.
“Studies have shown that Ebola virus can be isolated from semen up to 82 days after symptom onset. A recent case investigation identified genetic material (RNA) from the virus by nucleic acid amplification tests (such as RT-PCR) 199 days after symptom onset.
“This is well beyond the period of virus detecting ability in the blood of survivors and long after recovery from illness.
“The detection of virus genetic material many months after symptom onset is assumed to reflect the continuing, or at least very recent, presence of live and potentially transmissible Ebola virus.”
“Ebola survivors and their sexual partners should either abstain from all types of sex or observe safe sex through correct and consistent condom use until their semen has twice tested negative.
“Having tested negative, survivors can safely resume normal sexual practices without fear of Ebola virus transmission.”