Lagos - Nigeria has cleared all patients under surveillance for the Ebola virus, the federal health ministry said on Wednesday.
"There is nobody again under surveillance for the Ebola virus in any part of Nigeria. All those under surveillance have completed their mandatory 21-day period stipulated by the WHO," ministry's spokesman Dan Nwomeh told AFP, referring to the World Health Organization.
But 42 days, the total of two incubation periods, must elapse before a country can be declared free of the disease, according to the WHO.
Since breaking out in July, the virus has infected 20 people in Africa's most-populous nation, with 12 survivors and eight deaths, according to the WHO.
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The ministry's death toll is slightly lower, with only seven deaths.
All of the 529 people under surveillance in the commercial capital Lagos and the oil-producing Rivers State have been cleared of the disease, Nwomeh said.
Of the eight deaths recorded from the Ebola virus in Nigeria, four of them were healthcare workers who had treated a Liberian official, Patrick Sawyer.
Sawyer brought the virus to Nigeria after travelling from Liberia's capital Monrovia, where the disease is rife.
The epidemic is "pretty much contained" both in Nigeria and in Senegal, which recorded one case of the disease, the WHO said on Monday in Geneva.
Nigeria has not reported any new cases since September 8, the health agency added.
The situation remains dire elsewhere in the region, with nearly 3,000 dead across five west African nations.
The WHO has warned that the number of cases in West Africa could explode while the United States Center for Disease Control said 1.4 million people could be infected by January 2015.