Two years after Nigeria fended off what could have been a devastating Ebola epidemic, the 12-week ordeal is playing out again — only this time, on a movie screen.
The Nigerian docudrama “93 Days,” which premiered in Lagos on Tuesday, chronicles the harrowing weeks in the summer of 2014 when a man ill with the Ebola virus arrived in the city from Liberia.
Ebola is transmitted by contact with infected bodily fluids, and Lagos, a densely-populated city of 20 million where people shop in packed markets and ride on overcrowded buses, presented an ideal environment for the virus to spread.
Nigerian public health officials, along with bodies like the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, sprang into action and contained the virus within a few weeks. The country was certified free of the virus that October.
Eight people died, but that number was just a fraction of the over 11,000 who would die overall, mostly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
“93 Days” dramatizes the work of Nigerian and international health workers who responded to the virus’s arrival in the city and prevented its transmission.