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David Morgan
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Progress in Fight Against Ebola

May 14, 2015 - Ebola Virus Disease - Disease

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared Liberia free from Ebola on Saturday after 42 days without a new case of the virus, which killed more than 4,700 people there during a year-long epidemic. A total of 11,005 people have died from Ebola in the three West African countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea since the outbreak began in December 2013, according to the WHO.

“Many New Mexicans have volunteered and spent considerable time in these West African countries helping in the fight against Ebola,” said New Mexico Department of Health Secretary Retta Ward, MPH. “Some have volunteered as health care workers in Ebola treatment units, taking care of the sick; while others have helped with the training of local police, advising on infrastructure projects, or education of the general public.”

Liberia was documenting hundreds of new cases a week at the peak of the outbreak between August and October of 2014, causing alarm throughout the region and the rest of the world.  Celebrations in Liberia and elsewhere were muted by thoughts for all those who have died and suffered as the result of this disease. The WHO is aiming to control the outbreak in Guinea and Sierra Leone by June.

The New Mexico Department of Health has continued to actively monitor all returned travelers from countries with Ebola, staying in contact with them and monitoring each one for fever or other symptoms for 21 days.  The Department of Health has a comprehensive Ebola Virus Disease Response Plan that has been used around the state to make sure that both local government and health care facilities are prepared to deal with a potential Ebola patient. 

“Along with individual New Mexicans volunteering in West Africa, hospitals and emergency medical services (EMS) around New Mexico have stepped up and spent numerous hours preparing to take care of an Ebola patient, should someone returning to New Mexico from one of the countries with Ebola fall ill during their monitoring period. We want to thank them for their time and efforts in helping to deal with this deadly disease,” said Secretary Ward.

For more information on Ebola and to view the Department’s Ebola Virus Disease Response Plan visit the Ebola Virus Disease section of our website.

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Progreso en la Lucha Contra el Ébola