WHO Declared Liberia Ebola-Free
The World Health Organization has announced an end to the Ebola virus outbreak in Liberia, meaning all three countries at the epicenter of the west African outbreak are now considered Ebola-free.
The WHO announcement came Thursday after 42 days without a new reported case in Liberia. When announcing the milestone, the WHO cautioned that more small outbreaks are expected and called for continued strong surveillance to keep the disease at bay.
The WHO representative in Liberia, Alex Gasasira, pledged that the organization will continue to support Liberia in its effort to prevent, detect, and respond to any new Ebola cases.
This is the third time Liberia has been declared Ebola-free. The first declaration came in May 2015, but the disease recurred twice since then, with the latest outbreak in November.
This is the first time all three nations that hosted the outbreak -- Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone -- have all been Ebola-free at the same time. Sierra Leone was declared Ebola-free on November 7 and Guinea on December 29.
The Ebola epidemic in west Africa took 11,000 lives and infected more than 28,500 people.
Three Powerball Winners Announced for $1.5 Billion Prize
The western U.S. state of California and the southeastern states of Tennessee and Florida all have winners in the record-breaking Powerball lottery with a jackpot of $1.5 billion.
A spokesman for the California lottery, Alex Traverso, said late Wednesday that a winning ticket had been purchased at a 7-11 convenience store in Chino Hills, an affluent suburb of Los Angeles. The locations of the winning ticket sales in Tennessee and Florida were not yet known. No names or other details about the winners have been released.
The odds of a winning ticket were estimated at one in 292.2 million.
Multiple Powerball winners must share equally in the prize money. They can take a lump sum, subject to hefty tax withholdings, or a yearly annuity for 29 years, which is taxed as it is doled out.
Most of the 50 U.S. states allow lotteries to operate; but in the six that do not, much business was generated along the borders with states that do allow the sale of lottery tickets.
Tickets were even being sold in China, thanks to brokers on the Internet. It was not clear how any Chinese winners would transfer their winnings to a Chinese bank.
The store selling the winning ticket became a tourist attraction Wednesday night, as onlookers and news crews crowded into the parking lot. The store will win a $1 million prize for selling a winning ticket.