Liberia Ready to Declare Itself Free of Ebola

In this photo taken on Monday, Oct. 27, 2014, health workers prepare to place the body of a man who was suspected of dying from the Ebola virus into a grave on the outskirts of Monrovia, Liberia. The head of Africa’s continental body did not get to an Ebola-hit country until last week - months after alarm bells first rang and nearly 5,000 deaths later. (AP Photo/Abbas Dulleh)
In this photo taken on Monday, Oct. 27, 2014, health workers prepare to place the body of a man who was suspected of dying from the Ebola virus into a grave on the outskirts of Monrovia, Liberia. The head of Africa’s continental body did not get to an Ebola-hit country until last week - months after alarm bells first rang and nearly 5,000 deaths later. (AP Photo/Abbas Dulleh)
In this photo taken on Monday, Oct. 27, 2014, health workers prepare to place the body of a man who was suspected of dying from the Ebola virus into a grave on the outskirts of Monrovia, Liberia. (AP Photo/Abbas Dulleh)

 

MONROVIA, Liberia (USA Today) — This once-stricken nation plans to declare it is officially free of Ebola on Saturday, barring the unexpected discovery of a new case.

The announcement would come more than a year after the outbreak of the worst Ebola epidemic in history, killing 4,716 in Liberia and infecting twice that number.

“I’m sure that the sound of 4 million Liberians exhaling will be the sigh heard around the world,” says Sheldon Yett, who led the United Nation’s Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Liberia during the crisis.

The last confirmed Ebola patient in Liberia died March 27 and was buried the next day, according to the World Health Organization. With the passage of 42 days on Saturday, or twice the incubation period for the disease, Liberian officials are preparing to say the deadly virus is considered eradicated within Liberia’s borders.

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