On the Ebola Front, Good News from Guinea

Last known Ebola patient in Guinea leaves hospital


Guinea's last known Ebola patient has left the hospital, setting the nation on the path to being declared Ebola-free.

The patient is 1-month-old Nubia, who was born to an infected mother, reports Reuters. International health organization Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) reports that Nubia is the first baby to recover after being born to an Ebola-infected mother.

"This is a very happy day for us," said Laurence Sailly, head of MSF's emergency team in Guinea, in an interview with Reuters. "It was very moving for us and the family to be able to touch her without gloves."

Now that Nubia has been cleared of the virus, health officials will begin a 42-day countdown. The threshold for being declared Ebola-free is 42 days — twice the incubation period for the Ebola virus.

Ebola is an often-deadly disease marked by high fever, nausea, vomiting and unexplained bleeding. In what has now become the largest Ebola outbreak in known history, more than 11,300 patients have died, according to MSF. And thousands more have been sickened, primarily in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Sailly told Reuters that Nubia survived with the help of an Ebola drug called ZMapp and an experimental drug called GS-5734 — not to mention constant monitoring by health professionals.

"She is a symbol of what we are capable of doing at this stage of the epidemic," Sailly told Reuters.