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"Although Nigeria isn't completely out of the woods, their extensive response to a single case of Ebola shows that control is possible with rapid, focused interventions," CDC Director Tom Frieden said in a statement.
A region or country is considered Ebola-free after 42 days without any new cases. That means Nigeria can formally declare success on Oct. 12, which would truly be cause for celebration.
The country is home to 170 million people, so the potential for Ebola to spread quickly was high. Nigeria is also a major transport hub; millions of passengers pass through the international airport in Lagos every year.
Why did Nigeria succeed while Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone are still in crisis? Health officials at the CDC and elsewhere credit a relatively quick response by local health workers and the international community.
"[The countries] had rather similar plans, but it's a telling tale that Nigeria acted far earlier in the course of their national epidemic than Liberia was able to," says Howard Markel, an epidemiology historian at University of Michigan.
For instance, when Liberia started isolating patients and quarantining the West Point neighborhood in late August, "they were already in the thick of the outbreak," he says.
A patient with Ebola-like symptoms is being treated at Howard University Hospital, a hospital spokesperson confirms. The patient had traveled to Nigeria recently.