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Nigeria Declared Free From Ebola

The World Health Organization has declared the country free of the highly contagious virus after six weeks with no new infections.

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The World Health Organization (WHO) has officially declared Nigeria Ebola-free after 42 days with no new cases of the virus.

Akintunde Akinleye / Reuters

At a news conference in Abuja, the WHO's Rui Gama Vaz said, "Nigeria is now free of Ebola," Reuters reported. "This is a spectacular success story."

"Such a story can help the many other developing countries that are deeply worried by the prospect of an imported Ebola case and eager to improve their preparedness plans," a statement from the organization said. "Many wealthy countries, with outstanding health systems, may have something to learn as well.

"The complete story also illustrates how Nigeria has come so close to the successful interruption of wild poliovirus transmission from its vast and densely populated territory," the WHO said.

"As sometimes fortunately happens in public health, one success breeds others when lessons and best practices are collected and applied."

An infected Liberian diplomat brought the disease to the country — Africa's most populous — in July, but officials have been able to get the disease under control.

More than 4,500 people have died from the virus in West Africa during the current outbreak, mostly in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea.

Francis Whittaker is a homepage editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Francis Whittaker at

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