Celebration as last Ebola patient released from hospital in Sierra Leone

Medical staff cheer as Adama Sankoh, the last confirmed Ebola patient in Sierra Leone, leaves hospital after treatment Credit: International Medical Corps

There were celebrations in Sierra Leone as the last confirmed Ebola patient was released from hospital today starting a 42-day countdown to being declared free of the virus.

Medical staff cheered and danced as Adama Sankoh, 35, left hospital marking what is hopefully the beginning of the end of the country's epidemic.

The world's worst known Ebola epidemic has raged in West Africa for more than 18 months, infecting more than 28,000 people and killing more than a third of them.

Ken, a Kenyan Doctor in protective overalls does a Usain Bolt gesture as Adama Sankoh is discharged from hospital Credit: International Medical Corps

Ms Sankoh, who responded well to treatment and received her second negative test result yesterday, marked her release by placing a paint hand print on the survivors wall at the Mateneh Ebola Treatment Centremark in Makeni.

She then danced her way down a red carpet with as guest of honour of a ceremony attended by President Ernest Bai Koroma.

Ms Sankoh adds her handprint to the wall of survivors at the treatment centre Credit: International Medical Corps

Ms Sankoh is thought to have caught the virus from her son who was a victim of the last known transmission chain in the country in the northern village of Massessebeh.

The entire community of more than 500 people was quarantined for three weeks as a result to contain the infection.

Medical staff clap as Ms Sankoh, thought to be the last survivor of Ebola, leaves the treatment centre Credit: International Medical Corps

Sierra Leone confirmed its first case in May 2014 and has since recorded the highest number of cases in the region, although neighbouring Liberia has suffered more fatalities.

Liberia was declared Ebola-free in May but fresh cases appeared nearly two months later.