Here’s How Nigeria Beat Ebola
Friday, October 10, 2014
Ebola first arrived in Lagos, Nigeria—one of the largest cities in the world—on July 20. Global health officials feared the worst, warning that the disease could wreak untold havoc in the country.
But it hasn’t turned out that way. To date, Nigeria has reported only 20 confirmed or probable Ebola cases in a nation of 174 million people. Equally remarkable, there have only been eight deaths—about half the fatality rate experienced by other countries involved in the current outbreak. In fact, Nigeria could be declared Ebola-free as early as October 12. (That date would be 42 days after the last case was diagnosed, or double the maximum amount of time needed for the disease to incubate in a human body—the standard used by global health authorities.)
Nigeria’s success in stopping the outbreak could have implications for other countries, including the United States. That’s why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) dispatched a team to the country this week to learn what went right.