Nigeria says it has put all border controls on red alert following the confirmation that the death of a Liberian male who collapsed at Lagos airport on Sunday and died on Tuesday, was a result of the Ebola virus.
Following his collapse at the airport, Patrick Sawyer, who was in his 40s and worked for the Liberian government, was taken directly to hospital and quarantined. It is hoped he had had very little contact with the general public between the airport and the hospital, though everyone who came into contact with him has since been quarantined themselves.
In a press conference on Friday 25th July, Nigeria’s Health Minister Onyebuchi Chukwu confirmed that surveillance at all airports, land borders and seaports in Africa’s biggest country has since been stepped up to red alert. “His blood sample was taken to the advance laboratory at the Lagos university teaching hospital, which confirmed the diagnosis of the Ebola virus disease in the patient and this result was corroborated by other laboratories outside Nigeria,” she confirmed.
Yet according to a quote reported by the Reuters News Agency, the spokesman for the World Health Organisation, Paul Garwood, spokesman (WHO), has confirmed that the U.N. Health Agency had yet to receive the test results to confirm the death was a result of the Ebola virus. Approximately 660 people have died of Ebola in West Africa, notably, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, since February, in what has been classified as ‘the world’s deadliest outbreak’ to date. The Ebola Virus is highly contagious and spread through the passing of bodily fluids including sweat and kills up to 90% of those infected. Symptoms include fever, bleeding and damage to the central nervous system and as yet there is no cure.
The red alert in Nigeria comes as Sierra Leone has launched the search for a woman diagnosed with Ebola, but who was forcibly taken from hospital by her relatives. Ebola virus disease (EVD)