Nigeria Boko
President Goodluck Jonathan has said Nigeria is free from the deadly Ebola virus.Reuters

Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan has said in a public statement that the country is free from the deadly Ebola virus.

The president made the comment during a UN General Assembly in New York.

"We can confidently say that today Nigeria is Ebola-free," said Jonathan.

However, an email from the head of the Emergency Operation Centre for Ebola in Lagos, Faisal Shuaib, said: "The outbreak in Nigeria can be declared officially over only if there are no more cases after 42 days, or two incubation periods from the last confirmed case."

Eight people have died out of 20 confirmed Ebola cases in Nigeria since July 2014, and Nigeria has not reported any new cases since 8 September, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said.

However, the Nigerian government said the number of deaths was of seven, not eight.

If there are no further cases, Nigeria could be officially declared Ebola-free on 20 October, WHO added.

The Ebola outbreak, the worst in history, has killed more than 2,400 people in West Africa.

The deadly virus, which is spread via contact with infected body fluids, is present in Liberia, Guinea, Senegal, and Sierra Leone.

Sierra Leone reported 130 new cases of Ebola on Tuesday (23 September).

The US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned that if no effective measures were taken to stop the outbreak, between 550,000 and 1.4 million people could contract the Ebola virus by January 2015 in Sierra Leone and Liberia alone.

According to the World Health Organization, around £614m is needed to prevent the outbreak from turning into a human catastrophe.