News / Health

    Nurse is Nigeria's 10th Case of Ebola

    • A hearse carries the coffin of Spanish priest Miguel Pajares, 75, the first European infected by a strain of Ebola, Carlos III Hospital in Madrid, Spain, Aug. 12, 2014.
    • Ivory Coast banned air travellers from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone on August 11. In this photo, people walk past health workers wearing protective masks and gloves at the Felix Houphouet Boigny international airport in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Aug. 12, 2014.
    • This high level isolation unit would be used if it becomes necessary to treat patients suffering from Ebola, at The Royal Free Hospital, in London, Aug. 12, 2014.
    • Senior Matron Breda Athan demonstrates how to get into the protective suit, as she poses for the cameras. The suit would be used if it becomes necessary to treat patients suffering from Ebola, at The Royal Free Hospital in London, Aug. 12, 2014.
    • A man's temperature is measured before he is allowed into a business center, as fear of the deadly Ebola virus spreads through the city of Monrovia, Liberia, Aug. 9, 2014.
    • Health workers prescreen people for the deadly Ebola virus before they enter the Kenema Government Hospital in Kenema, Sierra Leone, August 9, 2014.
    • Worshippers leaving a church after prayers concerning the deadly Ebola virus in the city of Monrovia, Liberia, Aug. 9, 2014.
    • Workers inside a call center, where people can phone to state their concerns about the Ebola virus, in the city of Monrovia, Liberia, Aug. 9, 2014.
    • Volunteers prepare basic supplies, donated to the Ebola treatment center by American donors, at the Kenema Government Hospital in Kenema, Sierra Leone, Aug. 9, 2014.
    • A large billboard promotes the washing of hands to prevent the spread of the deadly Ebola virus in Monrovia, Liberia, Aug. 9, 2014.
    Ebola in West Africa, Monday, August 11
    Heather MurdockAnne Look

    Nigerian officials on Monday said one new Ebola case was diagnosed over the weekend, raising the country's total to 10 confirmed cases, while Ivory Coast banned air travel from West African nations heavily hit by the virus.

    Since Patrick Sawyer, a Liberian-American financial consultant, flew into Lagos from Liberia about three weeks ago, the number of new Ebola cases has slowly grown and the number of people who may have been exposed is growing, officials said.

    Officials are now monitoring 177 people for symptoms of the disease.

    Over the weekend, a 10th person who had an apparent connection with Sawyer was diagnosed with Ebola, said Onyebuchi Chukwu, Nigerian Minister of Health.

    “It was one of the nurses that were primary contacts when he got ill. We then brought her into isolation and we just tested her over the weekend and she tested positive," Chukwu said.

    Death tolls

    Of the 10 cases of Ebola in Nigeria, there have been two deaths: Sawyer and a nurse who treated him when he first arrived in Lagos. The other eight cases are people who also had direct contact with Sawyer, Chukwu said.

    Ebola has killed 961 people since the outbreak began early this year, with all but two deaths occurring in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

    Ebola is one of the world's most deadly diseases, with no known vaccine or cure. The Zaire strain - the one currently spreading through West Africa - can kill up to 90 percent of sufferers, although in the latest outbreak the death toll has been around 55 percent.  

    Reports that experimental drugs have had success in treating American and European health workers and missionaries who contracted the disease in West Africa have prompted many Nigerians to demand access to the drugs in case it spreads further.

    “Nigeria is actually, as of now, reaching out to various laboratories, various governments, including the U.S.A. government to see how these untried ... drugs that seem to hold some hope could also be deployed in Nigeria. We’re in touch," Chukwu said.

    The World Health Organization said it expects a vaccine to be developed by 2015, but currently there is no known cure.

    Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan Friday pledged $11.7 million dollars to try to stop the spread in Nigeria and $3.5 million to help other countries fight the disease.

    Chukwu said, so far in Nigeria, the disease has not spread out of Lagos, a megacity of 21 million people that is often called the "heartbeat" of the Nigerian economy.

    Travel ban

    As Nigeria joins the group of West African nations battling an Ebola outbreak, other countries are taking stronger measures to prevent the virus from entering its borders.

    In Ivory Coast, the government has banned, until further notice, all passenger flights into the country from Liberia, Guinea or Seirra Leone, the three countries hardest hit by the virus.

    Ivory Coast has not reported any cases of Ebola and government spokesman Bruno Kone said they want to keep it that way.

    The government said in addition to the ban on flights, authorities at the Abidjan airport will be screening all arriving passengers for fever, using infrared thermometers. Fever can be one of the early symptoms of Ebola.

    It can take up to 21 days for symptoms to appear, and once they do, a person is contagious. Other people can catch the disease by coming into contact with the sick person's bodily fluids.

    While Ivory Coast shares land borders with two of the four affected countries - Liberia and Guinea - Health Minister Dr. Raymonde Goudou Coffie said it doesn’t make sense to shut those borders.

    Coffie said the borders are very porous, and even if they close the official borders, people know other ways across.

    Instead, she said, health officials have worked on educating villages and local leaders to have them refer new arrivals to health authorities.

    Land borders closed

    Liberia closed its land border with Ivory Coast last week in an attempt to prevent the spread of the virus.

    Ivory Coast’s defense minister said in “recent days,” border authorities have already repatriated "nearly 100 people" who have tried to cross illegally from Guinea or Liberia.

    The Ivory Coast government said it continues to train health workers and will be holding a simulation drill later this week for first responders.

    In Malawi, health authorities said the government was taking measures to prevent the spread of the Ebola virus into the country, including airport screenings of international passengers, critics said they weren’t doing enough.

    Charles Mwansambo, director of health services in the Ministry of Health, told journalists in Lilongwe that the government was screening international passengers at the airports, and had set up quarantine centers at Kamuzu International Airport in the capital, Lilongwe, and Chileka Airport, in the commercial capital of Blantyre.

    However, critics said that medical workers needed urgent training on how to handle an infected person, lacked specialized equipment for containing the virus and could improve public education efforts.

    Ministry of Health officials said the airport screenings are currently done to those passengers from West African countries hit hardest by the Ebola virus - Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.

    Mwansambo said, “I want to assure the members of the general public not to panic because Ebola is spread by direct contact with bodily fluids like blood, saliva and urine. And chances of Malawians going to West Africa and getting in touch with these bodily fluids are very minimal.”

    Criticizes rep

    Juliana Lunguzi, chairwoman of Malawi’s Parliamentary Committee on Health, criticized his comments, saying there is no logic in telling people not to panic when the situation on the ground shows the government is doing nothing to prevent the outbreak.

    Lunguzi, who is also a nurse, said her committee will soon summon government authorities to explain their readiness in terms of medical equipment for combating the possible spread of Ebola into the country.

    Jonathan Gama, chairman of the Human Resources for Health coalition of health professionals in Malawi, said Malawi is not in any way ready to contain the virus.

    Gama cited inadequate medical equipment, protective wear and orientation for health workers as among the signs of the country’s unpreparedness.

    “What we are suggesting is that the health workers should be trained and after training them there should be procurement of resources as Ebola demands, so that when Ebola incidences appear in Malawi we should not be taken by surprise,” Gama said.

    Lameck Masinan contributed to this report from Blantrye, Malawi.

    You May Like

    How Aleppo Rebels Plan to Withstand Assad's Siege

    Rebels in Aleppo are laying plans to withstand a siege by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces in likelihood the regime cuts a final main supply line running west of city

    Probe Targeting China's Statistic Head Sparks Concern

    Economists now asking what prompted government to launch an investigation only months after Wang Baoan had been vetted for crucial job

    HRW: Both Sides in Ukraine Conflict Targeted, Used Schools

    Rights group documents how both sides in Ukraine conflict carried out attacks on schools and used them for military purposes

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Professor Omoh T. Ojior from: USA
    August 11, 2014 8:57 PM
    Africans should stop spreading Ebola with their own mouths. No one is telling the world that there are also survivors from the deadly virus Ebola in Africa where as there are now 145 survivors of Ebola in Serial Leone. A UNECEF spoke person reveled this afternoon that there are African survivors of Ebola who are discharged from Ebola Treatment Center at Kenema, Seirra Leone. The world should be told that Africans also survived this epidemic in Africa. The medicine and the methods deployed should be made known as well no matter the kind. We do not need to announce to the world that Ebola is spreading all over Africa. The world likes us too much to be given any negative information about us. You can only tell your lover any problem you have with a view that your lover can come to your aid. Our scientists and traditional healers should be able to collaborate and fight Ebola while we still call on the International community to assist us because Africa does not brew Ebola. Ebola was brought to Africa to kill them as is doing. Africans also need to find out seriously how Ebola entered the continent. Who could have injected Ebola into a monkey that bit a human in one of the three West African countries, which now spread the disease extending it to the most populous country in Africa with a view to depopulating the continent? The HIV Aids virus was introduced into African children the same way Ebola has now been introduced. They also said at that time that it was through monkey Africans got the disease where as the Virus HIV Aids was called for and created. The Sticker Memorandum is still fresh in our memory.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growthi
    X
    February 10, 2016 5:54 AM
    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Civil Rights Pioneer Remembers Struggle for Voting Rights

    February is Black History Month in the United States. The annual, month-long national observance pays tribute to important people and events that shaped the history of African Americans. VOA's Chris Simkins reports how one man fought against discrimination to help millions of blacks obtain the right to vote
    Video

    Video Jordanian Theater Group Stages Anti-Terrorism Message

    The lure of the self-styled “Islamic State” has many parents worried about their children who may be susceptible to the organization’s online propaganda. Dozens of Muslim communities in the Middle East are fighting back -- giving young adults alternatives to violence. One group in Jordan is using dramatic expression a send a family message. Mideast Broadcasting Network correspondent Haider Al Abdali shared this report with VOA. It’s narrated by Bronwyn Benito
    Video

    Video Migrant Crisis Fuels Debate Over Britain’s Future in EU

    The migrant crisis in Europe is fueling the debate in Britain ahead of a referendum on staying in the European Union that may be held this year. Prime Minister David Cameron warns that leaving the EU could lead to thousands more migrants arriving in the country. Meanwhile, tension is rising in Calais, France, where thousands of migrants are living in squalid camps. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Families Flee Aleppo for Kurdish Regions in Syria

    Not all who flee the fighting in Aleppo are trying to cross the border into Turkey. A VOA reporter caught up with several families heading for Kurdish-held areas of northern Syria.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.