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The World Health Organisation declared on Monday that Nigeria is free of Ebola, a rare victory in the months-long battle against the disease.

Nigeria’s containment of Ebola is a “spectacular success story”, WHO country director Rui Gama Vaz told a news conference in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja. Nigeria reported 20 cases of Ebola, including eight deaths. One of those who died was an airline passenger who brought Ebola to Nigeria and died soon after.

The WHO announcement came after 42 days had passed since the last case in Nigeria tested negative – 42 days is twice the disease’s maximum incubation period.

“The outbreak in Nigeria has been contained,” Vaz said. “But we must be clear that we only won a battle. The war will only end when west Africa is also declared free of Ebola.”

WHO said Nigeria had traced nearly all of the contacts of the Ebola patients in the country, all of whom were linked to the country’s first patient, a Liberian man who arrived with symptoms in Lagos and later died.


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