Concerns over the spread of the deadly Ebola virus spiked because of the reported death of a nurse in Nigeria who had treated Patrick Sawyer, a U.S. citizen who died shortly after arriving in Nigeria on a Flight from Liberia. Nigerian Health Minister Onyebuchi Chukwu said on August 6 that the nurse in question is the second health worker to die after treating Sawyer. A Nigerian physician, who also treated Sawyer, has contracted the disease. Sawyer also stopped in Ghana and Togo on his way to Nigeria.
Currently, there are five confirmed cases of Ebola in Nigeria. Health Minister Chukwu said the patients are being treated in Lagos, the city of 21 million where the Liberian-American Sawyer disembarked. Health officials are working to track down anyone who came in contact with Sawyer before his death. Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea have been particularly hard hit by the worst Ebola outbreak in its short history. More than 1,300 cases across Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia and Nigeria have been registered since March. Two American patients have been medically evacuated from West Africa to the U.S. for treatment at Emory University in Atlanta GA.
In Liberia, Brother Patrick Nshamdze, a member of a Catholic medical order and Director of St. Joseph Hospital in Monrovia, has succumbed to Ebola. Three of his colleagues are being treated at the hospital that has since been quarantined. A serum that was reportedly tested on the two Americans now in Georgia has also been administered to the sick missionaries in Liberia.
Screenings for Ebola are being conducted for the 50 African heads of state and their delegations who are in Washington DC for the first African summit ever held in the United States. Secret Service agents, who ensure the safety of the President and the White House, are being alerted to the risks of Ebola infection. As fear mounts in the West African countries affected, in Sierra Leone even soccer games have been forbidden for fear of gatherings of crowds, and in Liberia the corpses of Ebola victims are burned to prevent the spread of infection, while others are being left to decompose in the open air.
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