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Liberia declared officially free of Ebola

Ebola has been eradicated in Liberia, according to the World Health Organisation.

The West African nation has now gone 42 days without a new case - twice as long as its incubation period. More than 4,700 people died from the deadly virus over the last year.

Liberian police officers in April Credit: Kay Nietfeld/DPA

Tolbert Nyswah, Liberia's deputy health minister, said that the news was "worth celebrating", but that vigilance was still needed while neighbouring countries Guinea and Sierra Leone still suffer.

A total of 11,005 people have died from Ebola in the three West African neighbours since the outbreak began in December 2013, according to the WHO.

Liberia was recording hundreds of new cases a week at the peak of the outbreak between August and October, causing international alarm.

Liberia declared 'Ebola free' after no recent new cases

Liberia has been declared free from Ebola after 42 days without a new case. Credit: Kay Nietfeld / DPA/Press Association Images

Liberia has been declared free from Ebola on Saturday after 42 days without a new case, according to the medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), Reuters reports.

However MSF urged continued vigilance until the worst-ever recorded outbreak of the virus is extinguished in neighbouring Guinea and Sierra Leone.

MSF's head of mission in Liberia, Mariateresa Cacciapuoti, said: "We can't take our foot off the gas until all three countries record 42 days with no cases."

She urged Liberia to step up cross-border surveillance to prevent Ebola slipping back into the country.

A total of 11,005 people have died from Ebola in Liberia, neighbouring Guinea and Sierra Leone since the outbreak began in December 2013, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Nearly half of those deaths have been in Liberia, where the outbreak peaked between August and October, with hundreds of cases a week.

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Obama 'to send National Guard to fight Ebola' in Liberia

President Obama is expected to issue an executive order to send US National Guard forces to Liberia to assist in the fight against Ebola, sources have told NBC News.

An American soldier walks past an Ebola treatment centre under construction in Liberia. Credit: Reuters

According to sources, no decision has been made, but the initial deployment would include eight guard and reserve engineers and logistics specialists to assist in the construction of seventeen 100-bed treatment centers for Ebola patients.

An executive would help cut through the usual official red tape and delays so that guard and reserve forces could be ordered to deploy to west Africa on a moment's notice.

While the initial force may be small in number the order would give the President the option to send further forces.

Oxfam: Prevention of new Ebola cases must be a priority

Oxfam has called for a greater focus on the prevention of new Ebola cases in West Africa in addition to managing existing cases and fatalities.

The charity says that many new Ebola cases are due to a "lack of access to basic washing facilities or because of their lack of knowledge about how the disease is spread".

It plans to triple its programmes in Sierra Leone and Liberia to provide water and hygiene and sanitation supplies, as well as public awareness campaigns.

We must break the chain of infection by equipping people with the means to protect themselves from contracting this deadly disease in the first place.

– Jane Cocking, Oxfam’s Humanitarian Director

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American journalist in Liberia tests positive for Ebola

The freelance cameraman was treated at a Medecins Sans Frontieres centre in Monrovia. Credit: Reuters

An American cameraman working for NBC News in Liberia has tested positive for Ebola, the US network said.

The 33-year-old freelancer was on assignment in the country's capital of Monrovia covering the Ebola outbreak and will be flown back to the US for treatment.

NBC said the journalist, whose name has been withheld, is the fourth American to have contracted Ebola in Liberia.

US Ebola patient flew to Texas from Liberia

A man who flew from Liberia to Texas has become the first patient infected with the deadly Ebola virus to be diagnosed in the United States, health officials said.

The patient is being treated in an isolation room at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. Credit: Reuters

The patient sought treatment six days after arriving in Texas on September 20th, Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told reporters.

He was admitted two days later to an isolation room at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas.

On Tuesday, Frieden and other health authorities said they were taking every step possible to ensure the virus did not spread widely.

American doctor infected with Ebola in Liberia

A missionary health worker has become the third American to be infected with Ebola while working in Liberia, the Christian organisation SIM USA has said.

Dr. Rick Sacra, 51, had been delivering babies and working with patients who were not known to have the deadly virus.

Sacra is receiving care within the missionary's isolated Ebola unit in Monrovia, the president of SIM USA said.

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