West African country Sierra Leone’s president Ernest Bai Koroma blames UN’s World Health Organisation (WHO) for the delays in emergency assistance while sharing his frustrations hours before the country declared free of Ebola virus on last Saturday. Report indicates that around 4000 people died of Ebola in Sierra Leone alone. He says “"we wanted to move on... but the advice was to the contrary”. He said his government had to tolerate with the delays because international organisations such as the WHO "were the experts".
More than 19 months on from the first confirmed case recorded on 23 March 2014, 11,314 people have been reported as having died from the disease in six countries; Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, the US and Mali. The total number of reported cases is more than 28,607.
Ebola is a serious infectious illness which often proves fatal. The virus, which is thought to have originated in fruit bats, was first detected in 1976 in an outbreak near the Ebola River in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo. People are infected when they have direct contact through broken skin, or the mouth and nose, with the blood, vomit, faeces or bodily fluids of someone with Ebola. The virus can be present in urine and semen too. Infection may also occur through direct contact with contaminated bedding, clothing and surfaces - but only through broken skin. It is still unclear how long the virus exists on surfaces but there is some evidence to suggest it can last up to six days. Bleach and chlorine can kill Ebola. The disease is not airborne, like flu. Very close direct contact with an infected person is required for the virus to be passed to another person.