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

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Before burial at overflowing cemeteries, unidentified dead being swapped for DNA, in case some day relatives come to learn their fate

    Russian Opposition Leader Sues Putin for Conflict of Interest

    Alexei Navalny tells VOA in exclusive interview why transfer of $2 billion from country’s wealth fund to company with ties to President Putin’s son-in-law triggered lawsuit

    How Diversity Has Changed America

    Over the past four decades, the level of diversity in the United States has increased most in these four states

    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.
    As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Filli
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 11, 2016 8:01 PM
    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video US Co-ed Selective Service Plan Stirs Controversy

    Young women may soon be required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, the U.S. government agency charged with implementing a draft in a national emergency. Top Army and Marine Corps commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that women should register, and a bill has been introduced in Congress requiring eligible women to sign up for the military draft. The issue is stirring some controversy, as VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Lessons Learned From Ebola Might Help Fight Zika

    Now that the Ebola epidemic has ended in West Africa, Zika has the world's focus. And, as Carol Pearson reports, health experts and governments are applying some of the lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Africa to fight the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Illinois Voters Have Mixed Emotions on Obama’s Return to Springfield

    On the ninth anniversary of the launch of his quest for national office, President Barack Obama returned to Springfield, Illinois, to speak to the Illinois General Assembly, where he once served as state senator. His visit was met with mixed emotions by those with a front-row seat on his journey to the White House. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Heated Immigration Debate Limits Britain’s Refugee Response

    Compared to many other European states, Britain has agreed to accept a relatively small number of Syrian refugees. Just over a thousand have arrived so far -- and some are being resettled in remote corners of the country. Henry Ridgwell reports on why Britain’s response has lagged behind its neighbors.
    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.