With the last patient under surveillance for Ebola completing the mandatory 21-day monitoring period yesterday, the United States Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that Nigeria should be declared Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) free.
A report on Nigeria’s response to the outbreak, which appears in a September 30 early release issue of CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), noted that Nigeria’s success story was due to her strong emergency operations centre and polio eradication experience.
The CDC report reads: “…There have been no new cases since August 31 and the last three patient contacts will exit their 21-day follow-up on October 2 – strongly suggesting the outbreak in Nigeria has been contained.”
According to the MMWR, Nigeria’s decision to use the emergency operations’ centre to respond to the Ebola outbreak resulted in a rapid, effective and coordinated response.
The CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) described how Nigeria contained the virus. It reads: “The Ebola outbreak in Nigeria appears to be nearing a possible end due to a rapid response coordinated by Nigeria’s Emergency Operations Centre with assistance from international partners, including the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. The official end to an Ebola outbreak comes when two of the 21-day incubation periods for Ebola virus have elapsed without any new cases.
“During the outbreak, there were 19 laboratory-confirmed and one probable Ebola cases in two Nigerian states. Nearly 900 patient contacts were identified and followed; all but three have completed 21 days of follow-up period without Ebola symptoms. There have been no new cases since August 31 and the last three patient contacts will exit their 21-day follow-up on October 2 – strongly suggesting the outbreak in Nigeria has been contained.”
CDC Director, Dr. Tom Frieden, said: “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,” adding that “Countries throughout the region as well as Nigeria need to take rapid steps to prepare for possible cases of Ebola in order to prevent outbreaks in their country.”
Source: The Guardian