Liberia is Ebola-free, the World Health Organization (WHO) announces confirming the African country has had no new cases in 42 days.
More than 4,700 deaths from Ebola have been recorded in Liberia, more than in any other affected country.
Neighboring Guinea and Sierra Leone continue to fight the outbreak.
Ebola disease has claimed over 11,000 lives across the region since last year.
The WHO regards a country Ebola-free after a 42-day period without a new case – twice the maximum incubation period.
The last confirmed death in Liberia was on March 27.
On May 9, the WHO said in a statement: “The outbreak of Ebola virus disease in Liberia is over.”
According to WHO officials, Ebola was eventually conquered in Liberia through a collective. Care centers and hand washing stations were set up to try to halt the disease, which spreads through contact with sick people.
Billboards went up with slogans such as “Ebola is real”, “wash your hands and don’t touch” and “don’t be the next victim”.
Liberia lost around 250,000 lives in a civil war ending in 2005.
Although Liberia has now been declared Ebola-free, correspondents say the outbreak will have a long-term impact on Liberia’s fragile economy.
The current Ebola outbreak is the deadliest in history. It initially centered on Guinea’s remote south-eastern region of Nzerekore in early 2014, and later spread to Liberia and Sierra Leone.
Sierra Leone authorities have imposed a three-day lockdown to curb the spread of Ebola, with the entire population ordered to stay at home.
There is a two-hour exemption on Friday to allow Muslim prayers and a 5-hour window for Christians on Sunday.
Volunteers are going door-to-door, looking for people with signs of the disease and reminding others how to stay safe.
Dozens of new cases are still being reported in Sierra Leone every week.
However, the three West African countries worst affected by Ebola – Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea – have seen a steep reduction in infections in recent weeks.
This lockdown comes amidst some rare good news. According to official figures from the World Health Organization, there were just 33 new confirmed cases last week – the lowest number since June 2014.
With these falling figures there is danger of growing complacency, the government says.
This is one of the main reasons behind the lockdown – volunteers will remind people how to protect themselves against a virus that is still a real threat.
They will focus their efforts on northern and western areas where some infections still come as a surprise to officials – 16% of cases last week were not known Ebola contacts.
Experts have criticized previous stay-at-homes as too heavy-handed and top-down in their approach. Concerns were raised that some people did not have access to food.
The hope is, a year after the outbreak was declared, such logistical problems have been ironed out and that this measure will bring the country closer to its goal of zero Ebola infections by April 2015 – an ambitious target that is just two weeks away.
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