Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa, can provide a "hopeful roadmap to overall containment," NBC News noted in a recent report.
Nigeria is much closer to the West Africa outbreak than the US is, yet even after Ebola entered the country in the most terrifying way possible — via a visibly sick passenger on a commercial flight — officials successfully shut down the disease and prevented widespread transmission.
In Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea, which have been ravaged by the deadly virus, this isn't the case. Unlike more-developed and wealthier nations, those countries simply aren't equipped to take the necessary precautions to prevent the spread of Ebola. That's why international help is so desperately needed.
But when Nigerian officials found out that a man who traveled to the country from Liberia was sick with Ebola, they quickly figured out who he had been in contact with and acted on that information to successfully contain the disease. Nigeria ended up seeing 19 confirmed cases of Ebola, but no new cases have been reported in over a month.
If there are still no new cases on Monday, the World Health Organization will officially declare the country "Ebola-free." Here's how Nigeria did it.
Nigeria's Patient ZeroThe first person to bring Ebola to Nigeria was Patrick Sawyer, who left a hospital in Liberia against the wishes of the medical staff and flew to Nigeria, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Once he arrived, it became obvious that he was ill when he passed out in the Lagos airport, and he was taken to a hospital in the densely packed city of 20 million.
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