Last Known Ebola Patient in Liberia Is Discharged

Last Known Ebola Patient in Liberia Is Discharged

Liberia’s last Ebola patient was discharged on Thursday after a ceremony in the capital, Monrovia, bringing to zero the number of known cases in the country and marking a milestone in West Africa’s battle against the disease.

Officials in Monrovia, the city where the raging epidemic littered the streets with bodies only five months ago, celebrated even as they warned that Liberia was at least weeks away from being officially declared free of Ebola. They also noted that the disease had flared up recently in neighboring Sierra Leone and Guinea, the two other countries hardest hit by it.

“It was touching, it was pleasing,” Tolbert Nyenswah, the deputy health minister in charge of Liberia’s fight against Ebola, said in a telephone interview about the ceremony. “There was a lot of excitement because we feel that this is a victory.”
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“But it’s not over yet,” he added. “We are still cautioning people. We told them they must still protect their villages, their towns. They should report any suspicion of Ebola to the health teams. We still have a response that is tight. Yeah, we made that point.”
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Graphic: Ending the Ebola Outbreak

“But,” Mr. Nyenswah said, “it’s exciting, man.”

The authorities are still tracking more than 100 people for possible exposure to the virus. As of Thursday, no new cases of Ebola had been confirmed inside Liberia for the past 13 days, Mr. Nyenswah said.

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