In March of 2014, the World Health Organization reported the first outbreak of Ebola in Guinea. In little time, that outbreak erupted into the deadliest Ebola epidemic that the world has seen, taking the lives of thousands and devastating communities across Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and other countries in West Africa.
Americans were among the first on the frontlines of the epidemic, building, coordinating, and leading the international response that would bend the curve of the outbreak. Long after Ebola had faded from the headlines, thousands of American military officials and health care workers worked tirelessly with health teams from communities in the region to build treatment units, provide personal protective equipment, conduct aggressive contact tracing, and operate hundreds of burial teams across the region.
Thanks to their unwavering commitment, we have reached a major milestone in our response efforts: Sierra Leone is officially free of the Ebola virus.
Take a look at the progress we’ve made since the outbreak began last year:
As President Obama has said, we’ve still got a lot of work to do. And as the international community and response teams in the region work to eliminate this disease, Americans will continue to be part of the effort. “It is people who are willing to go there at significant sacrifice to make a difference. That’s American exceptionalism,” he said. “That’s what we should be proud of. That’s who we are.”