West Africa declared Ebola-free

MONROVIA - Liberia has been declared Ebola-free by the World Health Organization (WHO), effectively putting an end to the world's worst outbreak of the disease.

The "end of active transmission" was declared, after 42 days without a new case in Liberia.

It joins Guinea and Sierra Leone, which earned the status last year.

However, the WHO warned that West Africa may see flare-ups of the virus. It has killed more than 11,000 people since December 2013.

A country is considered free of human-to-human transmission once two 21-day incubation periods have passed since the last known case tested negative for a second time.

WHO chief Margaret Chan said the end of the outbreak was a "monumental achievement".

"This date marks the first time since the start of the epidemic two years ago that all three of the hardest-hit countries - Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone - have reported zero cases for at least 42 days," she said in a statement.

However, the end of active transmission of Ebola has been declared twice before in Liberia - only for the infection to re-emerge.

This is why the declaration will be marked with caution, says BBC Africa's health correspondent Anne Soy.

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