Liberia Is Free of Ebola Again, Remains on 'Heightened Surveillance'

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By Maggie Fox

Liberia’s free of Ebola again, after going 42 days without a case, the World Health Organization said Thursday.

But health officials are wary, because the virus has returned before after apparently having been eliminated.

“Forty-two days have passed since the second negative test on 22 July 2015 of the last laboratory-confirmed case. Liberia now enters a 90-day period of heightened surveillance,” WHO said in a statement.

“Liberia’s ability to effectively respond to the outbreak of Ebola virus disease is due to intensified vigilance and rapid response by the government and multiple partners,” it added.

“Transmission had been declared over previously on 9 May 2015, but the disease re-emerged on 29 June and 6 additional cases were identified.”

RELATED: Ebola Rates Plummet, But WHO Says More to Come

More than 28,000 people have been infected and more than 11,000 of them confirmed dead in the epidemic of Ebola that’s lasted well over a year in West Africa.

But officials finally have it almost under control. Just two cases were reported in Guinea last week and one in Sierra Leone. But the case in Sierra Leone was a woman who was only diagnosed after she died — meaning the virus is spreading without being detected. It had been 22 days since the last known case there.

And a baby who died in Guinea also had no known contacts. Officials are trying to figure out how she got infected.