A baby girl in Guinea, who was the last known Ebola patient in a two-year West African epidemic, has recovered, health officials say.
The recovery of the baby, named Nubia, means the last country still battling the virus can begin its 42-day countdown to declaring an end to outbreak. Neighboring Sierra Leone was declared Ebola-free on Nov. 7.
“We did two tests that turned up negative. She is completely cured of Ebola,” said Fodé Tass Sylla, spokesman for Guinea’s Ebola coordination unit.
Nubia was born on Oct. 27 in the Nongo Ebola treatment center to an infected mother who did not survive. Nubia received treatment from medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders or MSF).
“We are pleased that she has been tested negative, but as she is the first infected baby to have recovered, she will continue to receive specialized medical support before going back home,” said Laurence Sailly, MSF’s emergency coordinator in Guinea.
Sixty-eight people who had been in contact with the country’s last cluster of patients and were deemed at risk of Ebola infection were released from quarantine on Saturday.
The epidemic, the worst known Ebola outbreak in history, began in Guinea’s forest region nearly two years ago. More than 28,000 people were infected and more than 11,000 of them died, nearly all of them in West African neighbors Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.