The announcement comes 42 days after the last person confirmed with
Ebola tested negative for a second time. The country now enters a
90-day period of heightened surveillance, the U.N. World Health
The world's worst outbreak of the disease began in Gueckedou,
eastern Guinea, in December 2013 before spreading to Liberia, Sierra
Leone and seven other countries. In all, more than 11,300 people
At its height, Ebola sparked fear around the world and caused
governments and businesses to take precautions.
"I commend the governments, communities and partners for their
determination in confronting this epidemic," said WHO regional
director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti.
"As we work towards building resilient health care systems, we need
to stay vigilant to ensure that we rapidly stop any new flares that
may come up in 2016," Moeti said.
People in the capital, Conakry, greeted the declaration with mixed
emotions given the deaths and the damage the virus did to the
economy and the country's health and education sectors.
"Several of my family are dead. This situation has shown us how much
we must fight for those who are survivors," Fanta Oulen Camara, who
works for Medecins Sans Frontieres Belgium (Doctors Without
Borders), told Reuters.
"After I got better, the hardest thing was to make people welcome
me. Most people that normally supported me abandoned me. Even the
school where I was an instructor dropped me. It was very hard," said
Camara, 26, who works as part of the MSF Belgium psycho-social
support team and fell ill in March 2014.
[to top of second column]
Ebola has orphaned about 6,200 children in Guinea, said Rene
Migliani, an official at the national coordination centre for the
fight against Ebola.
There were more than 3,800 cases in Guinea out of more than 28,600
cases globally, according to WHO. Almost all the cases and deaths
were in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, which officially ended its
epidemic in November.
Liberia has lost more than 4,800 people but could be declared
virus-free in January. The country was declared Ebola free in May
and September, but each time new cases emerged.
"The time-limited persistence of virus in survivors which may give
rise to new Ebola flares in 2016 makes it imperative that partners
continue to support these countries," said Bruce Aylward, WHO
special representative for Ebola response.
(Additional reporting by Tom Miles; Writing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg;
Editing by Alison Williams)
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