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WHO declares Nigeria officially Ebola free
The World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared Nigeria Ebola free on Monday, after no new cases were confirmed in the past 42 days.
WHO Country Representative in Nigeria Rui Dama Gaz made the announcement at an ongoing event in the Nigerian capital Abuja.
"This is a spectacular success story that shows to the world that Ebola can be contained," the WHO official said, noting the war against the disease will only end in the region when West Africa is also declared free.
Ebola was spread to Nigeria in July, by Liberian-American Patrick Sawyer who died days after he arrived in Africa's most populous country. Thereafter, Nigeria officially recorded 19 cases which resulted in seven deaths and 12 recoveries.
The southwestern state of Lagos and the Nigerian oil hub Port Harcourt, capital of southeast Rivers State, were most-hit by the outbreak in Nigeria.
Welcoming WHO's declaration on Monday, Nigerian Minister of Health Onyebuchi Chukwu attributed the success to good leadership and collaboration among respective partners.
Noting within three months the African nation was able to completely contain the Ebola virus, Chukwu specially lauded the strong collective efforts from the medical officials who combated the virus and treated the patients.
While awaiting WHO's clearance, Nigeria had received global commendations for its robust and effective national response to the virus.
No new case of Ebola was reported in the country since Aug. 31.
[Source: Xinhua, Abuja, 20Oct14]
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