Speed Reads


Nigeria seems to have beaten its Ebola outbreak. The U.S. will, too.

Ebola is a terrifying virus, and it's in Dallas. But that's no reason for panic in the United States. First, Ebola isn't spread through the air like a cold, only through close contact with body fluids, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and a patient is only contagious when he or she is showing symptoms.

Plus, while the virus is wreaking havoc on Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia — where the Dallas patient arrived from — Nigeria has apparently beaten its outbreak, the CDC said Tuesday. Nigeria is Africa's largest country by population, with 177 million people, and it's only about 400 miles away from Liberia. "For those who say it's hopeless, this is an antidote — you can control Ebola," said CDC director Dr. Thomas Frieden.

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Nigeria's small outbreak was never as serious as the deadly ones in the other three countries, but it looks similar to a bad version of the U.S. case. In Nigeria, 20 people were infected by one patient who flew into Lagos from Liberia on July 20; all 21 have died or recovered, and an impressive 60 percent of them got better. Nearly as many Nigerians — two — died from overdosing on "Blessed Salt," a false cure sold to ward off Ebola, before the government started a public information campaign.

There will probably be other cases of Ebola in the U.S. at some point. There probably won't be a large outbreak.