The World Health Organization declared Liberia free of Ebola on Saturday, making it the first of the three hardest-hit West African countries to bring a formal end to the epidemic.
“The outbreak of Ebola virus disease in Liberia is over,” the W.H.O. said in a statement. The president of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, planned to attend ceremonies later in the morning to commemorate the dead and celebrate survivors.
As of Saturday, two maximum incubation periods of the virus, a total of 42 days, had passed since the burial of the last person confirmed to have had Ebola in Liberia, fulfilling the official criteria for concluding that human-to-human transmission of the virus has ended. According to the W.H.O., there were more than 3,000 confirmed Ebola cases in Liberia, and a further 7,400 suspected or probable cases, with more than 4,700 deaths estimated to have occurred since the outbreak was declared there in March of 2014. Among the dead were 189 health care workers.