As Ebola cases reach zero across West Africa, the IRC warns not to let guard down
January 14, 2016 by The IRC
“No matter what declarations are made, we’ve not freed ourselves of Ebola. We have just controlled, and stopped an epidemic. That is reason to celebrate. This milestone was made possible by the bravery of millions who responded to the epidemic. But our work is not done. We owe it the victims, as well as to future generations, to prevent such tragedies.”
- Emmanuel d’Harcourt, International Rescue Committee senior health director, quoted in an IRC statement released on Jan. 14 as Liberia celebrates 42 days without a single case of the deadly Ebola virus, joining both Sierra Leone and Guinea. The day marks the official end of the worst Ebola epidemic in history in West Africa. More than 11,000 people in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea lost their lives to the virus since the start of the outbreak in March 2014.
The IRC cautions that although there are no active Ebola cases in the region, this does not mean that Ebola no longer exists. The virus remains in the environment and in human hosts longer than we ever thought.
Read the IRC statement, which explains what needs to be done to prevent another outbreak and outlines the challenges yet ahead.
Behind the Ebola response
IRC health care workers Jartumah Kamara, left and Sylvester Duhbal risked their lives to combat Ebola in Liberia's Lofa County—where the epidemic in the country began. Read their story here »
The IRC has been at the forefront of the fight to stem the spread of the deadly Ebola virus since the first cases were diagnosed in Liberia and Sierra Leone in 2014. We're working to help communities and health systems recover from the crisis. Learn more about our regional Ebola response »