Sierra Leone was deemed free of Ebola by the World Health Organization on Saturday. This means the nation has passed two incubation periods--a total of 42 days--with no outbreaks of the disease.
Ebola has crippled the economy of Sierra Leone. The WHO announcement was broadcast over the radio on Saturday and included a story from a response worker who survived the disease.
Sierra Leone declared free of Ebola by WHO https://t.co/CbuvfDknP5
— Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) November 7, 2015
Tunis Yahya is the director of communications for Sierra Leone's National Ebola Response Center. He said emotions are all over the place in response to the announcement.
"It’s kind of like a mixed emotion,” the director explained. “People are happy, but also many are depressed because they lost their families.”
— WHO (@WHO) November 7, 2015
Sierra Leone was the hardest hit of all countries during the Ebola outbreak that killed 4,000. 14,000 were infected with the disease.
The nation will now begin a 90-day time of enhanced surveillance with the aim of quickly detecting any new cases of Ebola. The surveillance is in effect through February 5th.
Celebrations are now planned across Sierra Leone. In addition to speeches from political and religious dignitaries, there will be dancing, singing, and a release of balloons.
— Oxfam International (@Oxfam) November 7, 2015
Word that Sierra Leone is now free of Ebola comes as a result of much medical intervention and as the answer to many prayers from all around the world. Hopefully this represents for those in Sierra Leone the beginning of much brighter days.