Controlling the last known cluster of Ebola virus disease - Liberia, January-February 2015

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2015 May 15;64(18):500-4.


As one of the three West African countries highly affected by the 2014-2015 Ebola virus disease (Ebola) epidemic, Liberia reported approximately 10,000 cases. The Ebola epidemic in Liberia was marked by intense urban transmission, multiple community outbreaks with source cases occurring in patients coming from the urban areas, and outbreaks in health care facilities (HCFs). This report, based on data from routine case investigations and contact tracing, describes efforts to stop the last known chain of Ebola transmission in Liberia. The index patient became ill on December 29, 2014, and the last of 21 associated cases was in a patient admitted into an Ebola treatment unit (ETU) on February 18, 2015. The chain of transmission was stopped because of early detection of new cases; identification, monitoring, and support of contacts in acceptable settings; effective triage within the health care system; and rapid isolation of symptomatic contacts. In addition, a "sector" approach, which divided Montserrado County into geographic units, facilitated the ability of response teams to rapidly respond to community needs. In the final stages of the outbreak, intensive coordination among partners and engagement of community leaders were needed to stop transmission in densely populated Montserrado County. A companion report describes the efforts to enhance infection prevention and control efforts in HCFs. After February 19, no additional clusters of Ebola cases have been detected in Liberia. On May 9, the World Health Organization declared the end of the Ebola outbreak in Liberia.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Epidemics / prevention & control*
  • Female
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola / epidemiology
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Liberia / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Young Adult