August 2014 – NIGERIA – A Nigerian doctor has been diagnosed with Ebola nearly three weeks after a Liberian-American man with Ebola died after traveling to Lagos, Nigerian officials said Monday. Nigerian Minister of Health Onyebuchi Chukwu told reporters that the infected physician had been treating Patrick Sawyer, a top government official in the Liberian Ministry of Finance who died of Ebola in a Nigerian hospital July 20. Eight other people are being quarantined and three are awaiting Ebola test results, the health minister said. Meanwhile, the World Health Organization reports an outbreak of the virus in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Nigeria is believed to have infected 1,440 people and killed more than 900 this year. The United States is planning to send 50 health experts to West Africa to help contain the outbreak. “This is the biggest and most complex Ebola outbreak in history,” CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden said in a statement. “It will take many months, and it won’t be easy, but Ebola can be stopped.
We know what needs to be done,” he said. Frieden said the 50 experts from the CDC will work to combat the outbreak and help implement stronger systems to fight the disease. The Ebola virus causes viral hemorrhagic fever, which affects multiple organ systems in the body and is often accompanied by bleeding. Early symptoms include sudden onset of fever, weakness, muscle pain, headaches and a sore throat. They later progress to vomiting, diarrhea, impaired kidney and liver function — and sometimes internal and external bleeding. The United States had not treated an Ebola patient until last week, but the CDC has spearheaded efforts to prepare for the deadly virus. It helped create an isolation unit at Emory University Hospital, which is being used to treat American doctor Kent Brantly, who contracted Ebola in Liberia and was evacuated to the facility in Atlanta over the weekend. A second American patient, Nancy Writebol, is scheduled to arrive from Liberia on Tuesday. She will undergo treatment at the same unit. Emory is one of four U.S. institutions capable of providing such treatment.
The death toll from the world’s worst Ebola outbreak had risen to 900 by Aug. 4, while the total number of cases in the four West African countries affected stood at 1,603 on the same date, the World Health Organization said on Monday. Guinea has suffered the highest death toll with 358 fatalities out of 485 confirmed Ebola cases so far. Sierra Leone has had the largest number of cases, 646 overall and 273 deaths, while Liberia has had 468 cases and 255 deaths. Nigeria, the latest country to import the disease, has had four cases, of which three are classed as ‘probable Ebola and one as ‘suspected’, the Geneva-based agency said in a statement. The case of Patrick Sawyer, an American who died shortly after flying from Liberia at Lagos airport via Togo and Ghana, is still classed as “probable.” The WHO previously said it had not managed to check his sample because courier companies had refused to transport it to the Institut Pasteur in Dakar.The other two probable Ebola cases in Nigeria were a health-care worker and a Nigerian who had been to Guinea, WHO said. Nigeria itself has reported only the cases of Sawyer and, on Monday, one of the doctors who treated him. A senior official in the Lagos state Ministry of Health declined to comment on the discrepancy. –The Star CNN