Breaking News Emails
Liberia released its last Ebola patient, a 58-year old English teacher, from a treatment center in the capital Thursday, beginning its countdown to being Ebola-free.
"I am one of the happiest human beings today on earth because it was not easy going through this situation and coming out alive," Beatrice Yardolo said after her release.
She says she became infected while caring for a sick child.
"I was bathing her. I used to carry her from the bathroom alone because nobody wanted to take any risk. That is how I got in contact," she said.
Yardolo, a mother of five, said she had been admitted to the Chinese-run Ebola treatment center in Monrovia on Feb. 18.
"I am so overwhelmed because my family has been through a very difficult period from January to now. And to know that it's all coming to an end is a very delightful news. I'm so happy," Yardolo's son, Joel Yardolo, told reporters.
Tolbert Nyenswah, assistant health minister and head of the country's Ebola response, says there are no other confirmed cases of Ebola.
"For the past 13 days the entire Republic of Liberia has gone without a confirmed Ebola virus disease," Nyenswah told reporters. "This doesn't mean that Ebola is all over in Liberia."
After a 42-day countdown – two full incubation periods for the virus to cause an infection - the country can be declared Ebola-free. Officials are monitoring 102 people who have been in recent contact with an Ebola patient.
Since the epidemic started a year ago, Liberia has recorded 9,265 cases of Ebola, with 4,057 deaths. But the World Health Organization says there are almost certainly more cases than that. WHO says close to 24,000 cases have been recorded, and close to 10,000 deaths, in the entire West African epidemic.
-- The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this story