Monrovia: The World Health Organization said on Thursday that Ebola-ravaged Liberia was once again free of the deadly virus, prompting muted celebrations in the capital Monrovia.
The west African nation, where thousands died at the height of the epidemic last year, has already been declared Ebola-free once before, in May, only to see the fever resurface six weeks later.
“WHO declares Liberia free of Ebola virus transmission in the human population,” the UN health agency said in a statement.
It hailed Liberia´s “successful response” to the recent re-emergence of Ebola, when six people were infected, including two who died.
“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,” WHO said.
Liberia was long the hardest hit in the west African Ebola outbreak that began in December 2013 and which infected more than 28,000 people and claimed more than 11,000 lives mainly in Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone.
More than 10,500 of those infections and 4,800 of the deaths occurred in Liberia.
Radio and television lunchtime bulletins carrying the development were greeted with muted celebration in Monrovia, a chaotic city of a million people where bodies piled up the streets at the outbreak´s peak from August to December.