Real chance that Ebola has been beaten in Sierra Leone

HOPES are high that the concerted campaign to end the Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone has been won.

The virus has claimed about 4000 lives in the country - from almost 13,500 cases - but there have been no new patients in almost two weeks.

The last case, an eight-month-old child who died in hospital, came from a slum town called Magazine Wharf, in the capital, Freetown.

The Guardian reported that 29 people who had contact with the child were moved to a voluntary quarantine facility and none had so far shown signs of illness.

"We will wait to see if any of those high-risk people develop it ... our hope is that that is the last bit of this outbreak," said Marshall Elliott, the director of the UK government's interagency taskforce charged with battling the epidemic in co-operation with the Sierra Leone government and army.