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Mali declared free of Ebola, health minister says

In this photo taken Monday, Nov. 17, 2014, a woman walks past an Ebola health care center, rear, to be used for screening for Ebola virus patients at the border village of Kouremale, Mali, between Mali and Guinea.

AP / Baba Ahmed

BAMAKO, Mali - Mali's health minister says the West African country is Ebola-free after recording no new cases for 42 days, the period required for the World Health Organization to declare an outbreak officially over.

Health Minister Ousmane Kone made the announcement in a statement Sunday night.

Mali recorded its first Ebola case in October, then nearly eradicated the disease before a new wave of cases occurred in November. In total, the disease infected eight people, killing six of them, according to the WHO.

Ebola has killed more than 8,400 people in West Africa, with the overwhelming majority of those deaths occurring in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

David Nabarro, the U.N. special envoy on Ebola, said this past week that at least 50 hotspots remained in those countries, though new cases are declining.