Nigeria To Be Declared Ebola-free On Oct. 20 – Health Minister

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Although there is no single case of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in the country and not a single contact still under surveillance, by the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) protocol, the health authorities can only epidemiologically declare the outbreak of the virus over in Nigeria on October 20, 2014.

Nigeria will be officially declared Ebola-free on October 20, according to the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) protocol, despite the country not having any case of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).

According to the Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, the date chosen to declare a particular place Ebola-free is calculated as 42 days (that is, 21 days multiplied by 2) after the last case of EVD was discharged from the hospital.

The minister however said that although the country has been able to contain the virus, Nigeria is still at risk. “Like I said in my speech two weeks ago at the UN General Assembly, as long as there is a single case of Ebola in any part of the world, every country is at risk.

“So this is really theoretical and countries would still have to take the necessary precautionary measures to guard against the outbreak of the virus in their territories.

“As you can see what happened in Texas, where we have a Liberian who flew in with the disease, although he was not symptomatic at the time he arrived the US.

“We also have a large Nigerian community in Texas, so we could still be at risk if a Nigerian contracts it from that place and comes home with it undetected. It is a risk that every country faces as long as other countries continue to combat Ebola outbreaks,” the minister said.

Nigeria has recorded 19 confirmed cases and seven deaths since the first case of the virus was reported in July.

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