WHO declared Nigeria as Ebola Free country

Oct 22, 2014 18:30 IST

The World Health Organisation (WHO) on 20 October 2014 declared Nigeria as Ebola free country.

It was declared Ebola free after no new cases were reported within the 42 day period stipulated by the WHO for a country to be declared Ebola free. The last reported case in Nigeria was confirmed on 8 September 2014.

The announcement was made by the WHO representative Rui Gama Vaz in the capital Abuja.

With this Nigeria became the second country in West Africa to be declared Ebola free. On 17 October 2014, the UN health agency declared Senegal free of Ebola after it passed the 42 day landmark.

According to WHO, the success of Nigeria was attributable to ample funding, quick action and assistance from the WHO, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the non-profit Doctors Without Borders.

The nation’s response to Ebola is being held out as an example to the still-stricken West African nations, as well to Texas. The virus has claimed the lives of more than 4500 people in West Africa, mainly in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. In all, eight people died out of 20 confirmed cases in Nigeria's biggest city, Lagos, and the oil hub of Port Harcourt, while nearly 900 people were monitored for signs of the disease.

WHO 42-day landmark

According to WHO recommendations, the end of an Ebola virus disease outbreak in a country can be declared once 42 days have passed and no new cases have been detected. The 42 days represents twice the maximum incubation period for Ebola (21 days). This 42-day period starts from the last day that any person in the country had contact with a confirmed or probable Ebola case.

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