(The Washington Post) – The World Health Organization has declared Nigeria Ebola-free — after more than six weeks without a new case of the disease that has claimed the lives of more than 4,500 people in West Africa, mainly in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.
“Nigeria is now free of Ebola,” WHO representative Rui Gama Vaz told a news conference in the capital Abuja, Reuters reported. “This is a spectacular success story … It shows that Ebola can be contained but we must be clear that we have only won a battle. The war will only end when West Africa is also declared free of Ebola.”
The last reported case in Nigeria was confirmed Sept. 8. The nation’s response to Ebola is being held out as an example to the still-stricken West African nations, as well to Texas.
Ebola hit Nigeria in July when an American-Liberian citizen, Patrick Sawyer, was diagnosed in Lagos with the disease — and Nigerian officials quickly declared a public health emergency. Sawyer later died.