Updated on 21 October 2014
WHO estimates more than 9000 people have been infected by the virus and nearly 4500 people have died so far(Photo Courtesy: Free Digital Photos)
Singapore: Days of quarantining, isolation and worry end for the Nigerians as the World Health Organization has declared the Africa's most populated country, as Ebola-free. The announcement came as the country had not registered any case for 42 days since the last infection, twice the maximum incubation period for the Ebola virus.
WHO said that a team of determined doctors and thousands of officials and volunteers played an instrumental role in curbing Ebola in Nigeria. "This is a spectacular success story that shows that Ebola can be contained," the health agency said in a report on its website. But it also expressed caution that Nigeria cannot relax its defenses against the deadly virus.
According to WHO estimates more than 9,000 people have been infected by the virus and nearly 4,500 people have died so far. Despite all relief efforts, the number of cases are doubling every month and this has rung alarm bells with many health experts urging member nations to step up relief efforts.
Nigeria's Ebola free status holds a good lesson for other African countries that are grappling with the virus, said WHO in a statement. "Nigeria was not really prepared for the outbreak, but swift response from the federal government, state governments and international organizations made the difference," said Mr Samuel Matoka, Ebola operations manager in Nigeria for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).