The World Health Organisation (WHO) has downgraded the health risk of the Ebola virus after nearly two years of a global emergency.
“Ebola transmission in West Africa no longer constitutes an extraordinary event, that the risk of international spread is now low, and that countries currently have the capacity to respond rapidly to new virus emergences,” WHO said in a “statement”
#Ebola in West Africa is no longer a Public Health Emergency of Intl Concern, though high vigilance & response capacity must be maintained— WHO (@WHO) March 29, 2016
The virus which spreads by contact with infected blood and bodily fluids, has killed at least 11,300 people in West Africa since 2013.
WHO says all original chains of virus transmission have now ended despite new clusters of infections.
Guinea, one of the hardest hit country during the worst outbreak on record is currently having a flare-up of the deadly virus.
The WHO warned all 3 worst affected countries of West Africa of possible flare-ups.
“New clusters of Ebola cases continue to occur due to reintroductions of virus as it is cleared from the survivor population, though at decreasing frequency,” WHO added.
Nonetheless, the WHO emergency committee was impressed that to date all of these clusters have been detected and responded to rapidly, limiting transmission.
Last week, Liberia closed its border with Guinea as a precautionary measure against the latest outbreak. This move was noted by the WHO who said, “there should be no restrictions on travel and trade with Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, and that any such measures should be lifted immediately.”
The deadly virus first appeared in 1976 in two simultaneous outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Sudan.