The Ebola outbreak which has so far left more than 700 people dead and 1,100 infected across three West African countries — Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea — has now spread to Africa’s most populous nation after a Liberian man, who traveled to Lagos for an international conference, became sick on the airplane, and died two days later in a Lagos hospital. The sister of the 40-year-old man had recently died of Ebola in Liberia.
The Ebola outbreak which has so far left more than 700 people dead and 1,100 infected across three West African countries — Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea — has now spread to Africa’s most populous nation after a Liberian man with a high fever vomited aboard an airplane to Nigeria on Tuesday and then died in a Nigerian hospital on Friday. msn News reportsthat the sister of the 40-year-old man had recently died of Ebola in Liberia.
Nigerian Health Minister Onyebuchi Chukwu said it was the first case of Ebola to be confirmed in Nigeria since the outbreak was first reported in Guinea three months ago.
“All ports of entry into Nigeria, including airports, seaports and land borders, are placed on red alert,” he said. “Ministry of Health specialists have been positioned in all entry points. Active surveillance has also been stepped up.”
The Nigerian authorities are investigating anyone who may have come into contact with the deceased, Chukwu said.
“We have already gotten in touch with all the passengers,” he said. “We are monitoring and investigating.”
Liberia’s Chief Medical Officer Bernice Dahn identified the Ebola victim as a Liberian official who worked in the country’s finance ministry.
“When his sister died, his workmates were kind of afraid for him to be around,” she said. “We received several calls from workmates on whether it was advisable for him to go to work.”
After his sister died, the man told Liberian health officials that he had not had any physical contact with his sister after she became sick. He was told to stay home for three weeks, but it appears that he continued to show up at his office. He traveled to Nigeria to attend an international conference.
Blood tests for Ebola returned positive from the Lagos University Teaching Hospital.