Why “42” is Good News in the Fight Against Ebola

Liberia was one of the countries hard-hit by the most recent outbreak of the Ebola virus, which the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Africa regional office first reported in March 2014. [Source]

Since then, more than 10,000 cases of Ebola have been investigated in the country and there have been more than 4,600 deaths [Source]. With your support, Lutheran World Relief worked with partners at IMA World Health to respond to this crisis by providing critical education and awareness, as well as personal protective equipment to healthcare workers in Liberia.

A healthworker helps clean off another worker in a hazardous materials suit in West Africa
Photo credit: ©EC/ECHO/Jean-Louis Mosser, on Flickr.com, CC-BY-ND

May 9 marks an important milestone in the fight against the outbreak in Liberia. On this day, the country will have gone 42 days without a known Ebola transmission. Why is that significant?

21-Day Incubation Period

Any infectious disease has what is called an “incubation period” – or the period of time between exposure to an infections disease or virus and when symptoms first appear. The WHO notes the incubation period for Ebola as 21 days [Source]. When two incubation periods have passed without known infection, the WHO will declare Liberia “free of Ebola transmission.”

This map, provided buy the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows the number of days since the last reported case of Ebola in the countries in West Africa affected by the most recent outbreak.
This map, provided buy the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows the number of days since the last reported case of Ebola in the countries in West Africa affected by the most recent outbreak.

Thank you for support of Lutheran World Relief that allowed us to respond quickly to support our partners on the ground fighting the Ebola virus. Supporting our partners on the ground in educating communities and providing protective equipment are two very real ways you are helping to stop Ebola.

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Please join us in continuing to pray for people in all the countries affected by this outbreak.