Nigeria and the World Health Organization were poised to declare the country free of Ebola on Monday, a containment victory in an outbreak that has stymied other countries’ response efforts.
The milestone was set for 9 a.m. local time or 4 a.m., E.T., 42 days since the last new case. The outbreak has killed more than 4,500 in West Africa is remains unchecked in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, so Nigeria is by no means immune to another outbreak.
“It’s possible to control Ebola. It’s possible to defeat Ebola. We’ve seen it here in Nigeria,” Nigerian Minister of Health Onyebuchi Chukwu told TIME. “If any cases emerge in the future, it will be considered—by international standards—a separate outbreak. If that happens, Nigeria will be ready and able to confront it exactly as we have done with this outbreak.”
For the WHO to declare Nigeria’s Ebola-free, the country had to make…
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