Ebola gone from Guinea
First time Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone have stopped the original chains of transmission in the outbreak
The announcement made at a ceremony in the capital comes 42 days after the last Ebola patient tested negative for a second time. The country now enters a 90-day period of heightened surveillance, the U.N. World Health Organization said.
The world's worst Ebola outbreak began in Gueckedou, eastern Guinea, in December 2013 before spreading to Liberia, Sierra Leone and seven other countries. In all, more than 11,300 people died, almost all in the three worst-affected nations.
About 6,200 children have been left orphaned, said Rene Migliani, from Guinea's Ebola coordination centre.
Nevertheless, concern remains that new cases could re-emerge even though all the original chains of person-to-person transmission have been broken and there are currently no cases.
Fight for survivors
Governments from as far afield as Cuba, France and the United States sent health workers and equipment to the three countries in an attempt to get a grip on the disease.
"Several of my family are dead. This situation has shown us how much we must fight for those who are survivors," Fanta Oulen Camara, who works for Médecins Sans Frontières Belgium (Doctors Without Borders), told Reuters.
Ebola has orphaned about 6,200 children in Guinea, said Rene Migliani, an official at the national coordination centre for the fight against Ebola.
Liberia has lost more than 4,800 people but could be declared virus-free on Jan. 14. The country was declared Ebola free in May and September, but each time new cases emerged.
"This is the first time that all three countries — Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone — have stopped the original chains of transmission that were responsible for starting this devastating outbreak two years ago," said Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa.
Experts warn that vigilance is still needed.
With files from Associated Press