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GENEVA — The World Health Organization declaredNigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, officially free ofEbola infections on Monday, calling the outcome the triumphal result of “world class epidemiological detective work.”
The announcement came 42 days after the last reported infection in Nigeria’s outbreak, twice the maximum incubation period for the Ebola virus.
The Nigerian response was upheld by the W.H.O. as an example of the measures other countries can take to halt the spread of the epidemic, which is concentrated in the three West African countries Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
“This is a spectacular success story that shows that Ebola can be contained,” the W.H.O. said in a report on its website. But it also expressed caution that Nigeria cannot relax its defenses against the deadly virus.
More than 9,000 people have become infected and more than 4,500 people have died in the epidemic, and the number of infections is still doubling every month, the W.H.O. has reported.