UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) – Earlier in the day, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Ebola virus outbreak in Guinea was over after the country saw no new infections in 42 days. Guinea will now enter a 90-day period of heightened surveillance to ensure a prompt response to any new cases.
The total number of children who lost one or both parents to Ebola in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia – the three most affected countries – exceeded 22,000, UNICEF added.
"They are traumatized and continue to be stigmatized in their neighbourhoods. For thousands of girls and boys, the outbreak does not end today. It will be with them throughout their lives. Let us commit to be with them too," Mohamed Ag Ayoya, UNICEF’s Representative in Guinea, said in a statement.
An Ebola outbreak began in December 2013, spreading from Guinea to Liberia and Sierra Leone. Sierra Leone officially ended its epidemic in November, while Liberia, which has recently entered its third countdown to become free of the virus, is expected to follow suit in mid-January.
According to the WHO data, Ebola has infected over 28,000 people and killed 11,315 worldwide as of December 20.