The World Health Organization (WHO) downgraded Ebola’s risk status three days ago, stating that it is no longer an “extraordinary health event.” As of March 2016, there have been 28,639 total cases of Ebola reported with 13,316 deaths from the virus and more than 10,000 people surviving it. In West Africa alone, the disease killed over 11,000 people and was declared an international emergency in August 2014, with a description of a serious threat allotted to other countries.
Members of the Emergency Committee created to monitor the situation on the African continent has however agreed that the situation in West Africa no longer constitute a public health emergency of international concern. According to the conclusions of the committee, it’s threat is reduced and the risk of it spreading round the world is low.
New cases of the disease have not been reported in “hold-out” countries; Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone for months despite the presence of several small clusters of cases. The committee reported that; “All three countries have now completed the 42 day observation period and additional 90 day enhanced surveillance period since their last case that was linked to the original chain of transmission twice tested negative.” It also suggests that any travel restrictions placed on the three countries should be lifted.
Despite it’s designation of the disease at a reduced risk status, meaning that countries around the world should not be worried about Ebola transmissions, World Health Organization still insists that international support is still needed for; expanding diagnostic labs; monitoring of the virus; vaccination capacity; and any further clinical care may be required.
This is especially necessary considering the fact that recent studies have shown that survivors of Ebola suffer from after effects that include everything from fighting with depression, body weakness, regular headaches and memory loss. Still this is good news for the world and hopefully the Zika virus will soon enough go the way of Ebola as science continues to help us overtake diseases.