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

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

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.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid