Liberia's last Ebola patient discharged


MONROVIA, Liberia – Liberia discharged its last confirmed Ebola patient on Thursday, February 5, as it reported for the first time in nine months it had gone a full week without any new infections.

Beatrice Yordoldo left the Chinese-built Ebola treatment unit (ETU) in the Paynesville suburb of the capital Monrovia to cheers from healthcare workers, government officials and aid workers.

"Today I am very grateful to the almighty God and the Chinese ETU, and all of the Liberian nurses that are working with them. I did not know I could make it," said Yordoldo, who was confirmed by government officials as the country's last case in treatment. (READ: Schools reopen as Liberia turns page on Ebola epedemic

Almost 24,000 people have been infected with the virus since December 2013, all but a handful in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, and 9,807 of them have died, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Of those, 9,249 cases including 4,117 deaths were registered in Liberia, which six months ago was reporting more than 300 new cases each week. 

The country "reported no new confirmed cases" during the week to March 1, the WHO said in a report late Wednesday, February 4. (READ: Just five Ebola cases left in Liberia – government)

At the height of the epidemic in a country whose health infrastructure had been ravaged by back-to-back civil wars, overflowing health clinics had to turn people away, often to die in the streets.

But a huge national and international response helped stem the spread.

Of 45 samples tested nationwide last week, none were positive, the WHO said, adding that it was first time there had been no new confirmed cases since May 26, 2014. – Rappler.com