Africa’s Most Populous Country On ‘Red Alert’ After Ebola Death In City Of 21 Million

Monday, July 28, 2014
By Paul Martin

BusinessInsider.com
July 28,2014

LAGOS (Reuters) – The Nigerian city of Lagos on Monday shut down and quarantined a hospital where a man died of Ebola in the first recorded case of the highly infectious disease in Africa’s most populous country.

Patrick Sawyer, a consultant for the Liberian finance ministry in his 40s, collapsed on arrival at Lagos airport on July 20 and was put in isolation at the First Consultants Hospital in Obalende, one of the most crowded parts of a city that is home to 21 million people. He died on Friday.

“We have shut the hospital to enable us to properly quarantine the environment. Some of the hospital staff who were in close contact with the victim have been isolated,” Lagos state health commissioner Jide Idris told Nigerian TV.

The hospital will be shut for a week and all staff monitored to ensure the virus has not spread, he added.

Ebola has killed 672 people across Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone since it was first diagnosed in February.

It can kill up to 90 percent of those who catch it, although the fatality rate of the current outbreak is around 60 percent. Highly contagious, especially in the late stages, symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea and internal and external bleeding.

Adding to the risks, Nigerian doctors are on strike over conditions and pay. Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association Tope Ojo was quoted in local media on Saturday as saying the strike would not be called off despite the Ebola threat.

Nigeria’s airports, seaports and land borders have been on “red alert” since Friday.

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