A billboard in Monrovia earlier this year.

A billboard in Monrovia earlier this year.

UNMEER/Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Liberia’s Ebola epidemic ends

Unless a new case is diagnosed in the coming hours, Liberia is expected to announce tomorrow that the country is officially free of Ebola. Cases have been declining there since October, and 9 May marks 42 days since the last confirmed Ebola patient in the country was safely buried. The incubation period for Ebola is up to 21 days, and the World Health Organization requires that a country go twice that period without cases before it declares the official end of an outbreak.

"May 9 is our magic date," Liberian Minister of Commerce and Industry Axel Addy told reporters earlier this week, according to Voice of America. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has already adjusted its travel advice, no longer recommending against nonessential travel. National Public Radio outlines some of the challenges the country still faces, including caring for survivors, keeping vigilant for reintroductions from Guinea or Sierra Leone, and training replacements for the doctors and health care workers who died in the epidemic.

*The Ebola Files: Science and Science Translational Medicine have made a collection of research and news articles on the Ebola virus and the current outbreak freely available to researchers and the general public.