After 16 days in a Chinese Ebola Treatment Unit in Monrovia, the last remaining Liberian patient was released on March 5, 2015. Her name is Beatrice Yardolo, a 58-year-old woman who contracted the virus after three of her children had died from Ebola earlier this year. The family caught it from Beatrice’s son, who was working in a treatment clinic.
Beatrice’s four surviving children and husband, Steve, are overjoyed at her release.
The World Health Organization reports nearly 24,000 confirmed cases of the virus in West Africa since its outbreak, and 9,249 of those cases have been in Liberia. As of March 5, a total of 9,792 people have died from Ebola – 4,117 of them have been in Liberia.
In the 21 days prior to Yardolo’s release, six of the 384 new Ebola cases reported were in Liberia and one of them was hers. When she was released on March 5, Liberia had no new reports of the virus for 13 days. However, this decrease in reported cases may not be a sign of progress toward eradication of the virus. Early last month, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea had a total of 124 new cases after weeks of decreases.
If there are no new confirmed cases of Ebola as of April 3, 2015 (42 days), Liberia can be declared free of the virus. Meanwhile, a trial to test the efficacy of an Ebola vaccine is ready to launch in Guinea, another one of the three West African countries hardest-hit by the outbreak.
Of Liberia’s 19 Ebola treatment units, two are BLU-MED Response Systems Ebola Isolation Units with 22 beds each. They were funded by a German medical aid organization and deployed to Liberia’s capital city of Monrovia to aid in the treatment of patients and spread of the virus. These units are engineered to provide ideal conditions for effective treatment and isolation. Each is equipped with special ventilators to ensure fresh incoming air and extraction and sterilization of used air to prevent the spread of the virus.
To learn more about BLU-MED’s Negative Pressure Ebola Isolation Units, please click here.
Featured photo credit: Abbas Dulleh/Associated Press.