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Nigeria declared Ebola-free | 20th October 2014 | Ebola Videos

Nigeria declared Ebola-free | 20th October 2014

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LONDON: One of the worst affected countries with Ebola – Nigeria, has been declared disease free. The World Health Organisation declared that Nigeria has successfully contained the virus that has killed more than 4,500 people till now and is steadily spreading across the globe. Africa’s most populous country has seen eight deaths due to an outbreak which saw 20 people infected. WHO however said there have been no new cases confirmed since September 8, meaning Nigeria has passed the 42-day period needed by the World Health Organization (WHO) to confirm it has quashed its Ebola outbreak. WHO officially declared Senegal Ebola-free last Friday. The virus has till now killed 70% of those it infected. European Union foreign ministers are meeting in Luxembourg on Monday to discuss how to strengthen their response to the threat posed by Ebola. European countries have committed more than 500 million euros to the global fight against Ebola. WHO said over the weekend “Nigeria is expected to have passed through the requisite 42 days, with active surveillance for new cases in place and none detected, on Monday 20 October. For Nigeria, WHO confirms that tracing of people known to have contact with an Ebola patient reached 100% in Lagos and 98% in Port Harcourt. In a piece of world-class epidemiological detective work, all confirmed cases in Nigeria were eventually linked back to the Liberian air traveller who introduced the virus into the country on July 20”. “The declaration by WHO that the outbreaks in these two countries are over will give the world some welcome news in an epidemic that elsewhere remains out of control in three West African nations. In Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, new cases continue to explode in areas that looked like they were coming under control. An unusual characteristic of this epidemic is a persistent cyclical pattern of gradual dips in the number of new cases, followed by sudden flare-ups. WHO epidemiologists see no signs that the outbreaks in any of these three countries are coming under control”. The period of 42 days, with active case-finding in place, is twice the maximum incubation period for Ebola virus disease and is considered by WHO as sufficient to generate confidence in a declaration that an Ebola outbreak has ended. Recent studies conducted in West Africa have demonstrated that 95% of confirmed cases have an incubation period in the range of 1 to 21 days; 98% have an incubation period that falls within the 1 to 42 day interval. WHO is therefore confident that detection of no new cases, with active surveillance in place, throughout this 42-day period means that an Ebola outbreak is indeed over.

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