Wednesday, 28 February, 2024
HomeNews UpdateNigeria confirms first Ebola death

Nigeria confirms first Ebola death

A [b]Sierra Leone[/b] woman who fled hospital after testing positive for the Ebola virus has died after turning herself in, [s]BBC News[/s] reports. Also, the report says, [b]N[b][/b]igeria[/b] has put all its entry points on red alert after confirming the death there of a [b]Liberian[/b] man who was carrying the highly contagious virus. The man died after arriving at Lagos airport, in the first Ebola case in Africa’s most populous country. The outbreak began in southern [b]Guinea[/b] and spread to Liberia and Sierra Leone and a prominent Liberian doctor, Samuel Brisbane, has died after a three-week battle with the virus. It has also emerged that a US doctor working with Ebola patients, Kent Brantly, was being treated for the virus in a hospital in the capital [b]Monrovia[/b].

Police were guarding an Ebola treatment centre in [b]Sierra Leone[/b] after thousands marched on the clinic. [s]Reuters Health[/s] reports this follows allegations by a former nurse the deadly virus was invented to conceal ‘cannibalistic rituals’ there. Sierra Leone now has the highest number of cases, at 454, surpassing neighbouring [b]Guinea[/b]. President Ernest Bai Koroma said the government planned to ‘intensify activities and interventions’.

Health workers say they are now battling two enemies: the epidemic and fear, reports [s]The New York Times[/s]. Workers and officials, blamed by panicked populations for spreading the virus, have been threatened with knives, stones and machetes, their vehicles sometimes surrounded by hostile mobs. Sick and dead villagers, cut off from help, are infecting others. ‘This is very unusual, that we are not trusted,’ said Marc Poncin, the emergency coordinator in [b]Guinea[/b] for [b]Doctors Without Borders[/b]. The fear of aid workers, principally from Doctors Without Borders and the [b]Red Cross[/b], is helping to spread the disease. Villagers flee at the sight of a Red Cross truck. When a Westerner passes, villagers cry out, ‘Ebola, Ebola!’ and run away. This month, Doctors Without Borders classified 12 villages in Guinea as ‘red,’ meaning they might harbour Ebola but were inaccessible for safety reasons.

Most border crossings in [b]Liberia[/b] have been closed and communities hit by the Ebola outbreak face quarantine to try to halt the spread of the virus, reports [s]BBC News[/s]. Screening centres are also being set up at the few major entry points that will remain open, such as the main airport. Meanwhile, [b]N[b][/b]igeria’s[/b] largest airline, [b]Arik Air[/b], has suspended all flights to Liberia and [b]Sierra Leone[/b].

SA’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases[/b] has urged the public as well as local healthcare workers to be on the lookout for the Ebola virus, reports [s]Health24[/s]. Even though the threat to SA is low at this state, the report says given the frequency of travel between southern and western [b]African[/b] countries, there is a risk of EVD cases being imported into SA. Healthcare or international agency workers involved in the outbreak response may also travel to and present themselves in SA for medical care, and a high index of suspicion is important for such cases. A detailed history regarding travel and level of contact with suspected/confirmed EVD cases isextremely important, the report says.

[link url=]Full BBC News report[/link]
[link url=]Full Reuters Health report[/link]
[link url=]Full report in The New York Times[/link]
[link url=]Full BBC News report[/link]
[link url=]Full Health24 report[/link]

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