How Twitter helped Nigeria to contain Ebola

How Twitter helped Nigeria to contain Ebola

Nigeria has been declared Ebola free by the World Health Organisation (WHO) after six weeks without a new case of the disease, and hailed as a "success story" in the fight against the epidemic.

The Ebola outbreak has killed more than 4,500 people in West Africa, mostly in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. Nigeria had reported 20 cases of people infected with Ebola, eight of whom died.

As the Financial Times previously noted, Twitter played a part in combating Ebola in Nigeria - with the account @EbolaAlert, manned by dentist and social media activist Dr Lawal Bakare, helping inform people about the virus. The service has more than 70,000 followers on site, with Dr Bakare telling the FT: "We are spreading on Twitter much faster than the Ebola virus. Part of what we are going to do now is to see how we can transfer this to other sectors of society."

A rumour and information hotline was also set up alongside the Twitter feed, as well as a Facebook page and an Android app designed to help diagnose symptoms.

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