Nigeria Has Only 10 Confirmed Cases of Ebola – Health Minister
Nigeria’s health minister, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu has said that Nigeria has only 10 confirmed cases of Ebola, all of which were recorded in Lagos.
The minister who spoke at a news conference on Monday said the figure climbed up from seven at the last count, although only two so far have died, including the Liberian who brought the virus in.
According to Prof. Chukwu, all the cases were of people who had had primary contact with Patrick Sawyer, who collapsed on arrival at Lagos airport on July 25th and later died. A nurse who treated him not knowing what it was and without protective gear also died.
“When she got ill, we then brought her into isolation. We just tested her over the weekend.” She had been at home with her husband, who was also now under surveillance, Chukwu said.
The West African Ebola outbreak is the worst in history and the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday it represents an international health emergency that will likely continue spreading for months. It said 961 people have died during the outbreak and 1,779 have been infected.
The disease has strained health systems of affected states and governments have responded with measures including national emergencies declared in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria.
Nigeria faces the added problem that public doctors are on strike over pay and working conditions and have resisted calls by the government to end their strike to tackle the Ebola crisis.
The Nigerian Red Cross said it had provided 18 volunteers to work with the authorities to educate people on how Ebola is spread.