After a year and a half since the first case was reported in the West African country, Sierra Leone has been declared Ebola free, 42 days after the last case was cleared. The announcement is one further step forward in the fight against the 2014 outbreak.
Since the start of the outbreak, the virus has infected a staggering 8,704, killing 3,589, including 221 healthcare workers. Of the three West African countries hit hardest by the outbreak, Sierra Leone was the hardest hit.
Despite the milestone, monitoring for the illness will continue in earnest through February: while cases have declined, isolated instances continue to appear: back in July, three new cases of the illness surfaced in Liberia, while two new cases of the virus appeared in Guinea last month. Despite those setbacks, the outbreak is well on its way to ending.
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