New Mexico Announced Completion of Ebola Virus Monitoring Program
State officials of New Mexico's health department recently announced the completion of its active monitoring of travelers entering the US state from Ebola-affected countries in West Africa.
The decision to halt the monitoring program was largely due to an improved situation in West Africa following a deadly outbreak that occurred in multiple countries in the region back in March 2014.
At that time, most cases were concentrated in poverty-stricken nations of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. On a lesser scale, Ebola also reached other countries due to transnational travel.
At the height of the outbreak, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued regularly updated guidelines for monitoring people who were potential carriers of the virus because of their travel to countries in the affected region as stated in a report by KRWG News.
Ebola virus disease is rare but fatal- infection results in deadly hemorrhage. The virus was discovered nearly 40 years ago in an outbreak that occurred in the Democratic Republic of Congo which spread to a number of countries during that time.
Currently, no new cases has been reported prompting the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare an end to the outbreak that had seen affected countries shutting their borders to international land travels temporarily in the two-year epidemic.
"While this is an important milestone and a very important step forward, we have to say that the job is still not done. That's because there is still ongoing risk of re-emergence of the disease because of persistence of the virus in a proportion of survivors," cautiously remarked WHO Director of Emergency Risk Assessment and Humanitarian Response Rick Brennan as quoted by NBC News.
After the outbreak that took the lives of 11, 300 people, the question that looms on everybody's mind is: will it come back?
The risk is still there. WHO experts revealed that there is still a possibility that Ebola survivors might develop the disease again in deadlier form since the virus could remain in the body and threatens to reproduce at dangerous levels according to Times Daily.