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Nigeria suffers 2nd Ebola fatality

TAKING PRECAUTIONS: Volunteers preparing to remove the bodies of people suspected of contracting Ebola in Sierra Leone last month. PHOTO: REUTERS


    Aug 07, 2014

    Nigeria suffers 2nd Ebola fatality


    A NIGERIAN nurse has become the second person to die of the Ebola virus in Africa's most populous nation, Health Minister Onyebuchi Chukwu said.

    The nurse had helped treat Liberian government worker Patrick Sawyer, who fell ill from the virus after arriving on a flight to the commercial capital Lagos.

    He was taken to a hospital in the city and died five days later on July 25.

    Nigeria has five other confirmed cases of Ebola in Lagos, Mr Chukwu said in a statement handed to reporters yesterday in Abuja, the capital of Africa's biggest economy.

    All suspected carriers came in contact with Mr Sawyer. Six others were quarantined, but had not shown signs of the disease.

    "We are making arrangements to procure isolation tents to quicken the pace of providing isolation wards in all the states of the federation," Mr Chukwu said.

    Nigeria may try to obtain some of the experimental Ebola therapies given to two Americans who contracted the disease in Liberia, Jide Idris, Lagos' health commissioner, said on Tuesday.

    Not counting the most recent incidents, the outbreak of the Ebola virus has killed 887 people. Most of the cases are in neighbouring Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, on West Africa's Atlantic coast.

    Nigeria does not share a border with any of those countries.

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) yesterday began a two-day emergency meeting on west Africa's Ebola epidemic, to decide whether to declare it an international crisis.

    Taking the form of a telephone conference between senior WHO officials, representatives of affected countries, and experts from around the globe, the meeting is not expected to made its decision public until Friday.