The World Health Organization (WHO) announced on Oct. 20 that Nigeria is now considered an Ebola free country as no new cases have developed within 42 days.
In response to this, WHO’s director for Nigeria, Rui Gama Vaz called the containment of Ebola within Nigeria a “spectacular success story.”
WHO additionally feels that they have beaten Ebola in Nigeria as the diseases alleged incubation time is 21 days, meaning that no new cases technically should be seen in Nigeria.
“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.”
Throughout the outbreak of Ebola, Nigeria reported 19 cases, seven of which resulted in death. In response to this WHO stated that these numbers make Nigeria an “enviable case fatality rate of 40 per cent – much lower than the 70 per cent and higher seen elsewhere.”
Despite Nigeria being “Ebola free”, WHO also warned of the further spread of Ebola in regions which are deemed safe. “Patients and their families from elsewhere will come to Nigeria in their quest for first-rate, life-saving care,” the health agency said.
With Ebola continuing to spread across Africa as well as the rest of the world, it almost seems ironic that the WHO would issue a statement saying Nigeria is all clear. Hopefully this definition of being “Ebola free” will not hinder the humanitarian aid in the region. Despite seeing no new cases of Ebola, there is still much work that needs to be done in Nigeria, Africa and the rest of the world.