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Ear to the Ground

Concern Spreads With Ebola Outbreak in Nigeria

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Posted on Aug 7, 2014

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Nigeria is looking like the next frontier for the Ebola outbreak that has Liberia on lockdown, after a man infected with the virulent virus flew to Lagos from Liberia before succumbing to the disease late last month.

Also read: The West African Food Staple That Isn’t Helping the Ebola Crisis

The carrier, Patrick Sawyer, came into contact with several people and infected at least six, Time reported on Thursday:

The stakes are high. Lagos is Nigeria’s capital and biggest city with 21 million people, in Africa’s most populous country of more than 170 million people. An outbreak in Lagos could bring Africa’s crisis to a whole new level.

Lagos s[t]ate health commissioner Jide Idris said this week that doctors didn’t initially realize Sawyer was infected with Ebola, a virus with symptoms similar to other tropical diseases. The government is now screening travelers, obtaining isolation tents in case they receive new cases, and establishing an emergency operations center, while the other five patients with confirmed cases of Ebola are treated in isolation at a Lagos hospital.

Nigerian health officials are calling for more help as they track more than 70 people who came into contact with Sawyer and the six people he infected.

—Posted by Kasia Anderson

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