records another Ebola case in oil city, 17 cases total
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[September 02, 2014]
ABUJA (Reuters) - Nigeria has a
third confirmed case of Ebola in the oil hub of Port Harcourt, bringing
the country's total confirmed infections to 17, with 271 people under
surveillance, the health minister said on Monday.
figure was revised up from an earlier one of 16, which had been the
result of an error in counting.
A doctor in Port Harcourt died last week after treating someone who
came in contact of the Liberian-American man who was the first
recorded case of the virus in Africa's most populous country. That
raised alarm that Ebola, which looked on the verge of being
contained in the commercial capital, Lagos, may flare up again
Patrick Sawyer, the first case, came from Liberia, and then
collapsed at Lagos airport on July 20.
The shift to Port Harcourt shows how easily containment efforts can
be undermined. Nigeria's government acted quickly at the end of
July, setting up an isolation ward and monitoring contacts closely.
But one of Sawyer's contacts in Lagos avoided quarantine and
traveled east to Port Harcourt.
He has since recovered from the disease, but he infected the doctor
who treated him, who then himself died of Ebola. A third case in the
oil city was a female patient in the same hospital as the doctor and
caught the disease from him.
Health Minister Onyebuchi Chukwu said in a press conference that 72
people in Lagos, a city of 21 million people, were still under
surveillance. Another 199 people were under surveillance in Port
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"Two other contacts of the late Port Harcourt doctor, one of the
doctors who managed him and a pharmacy technician working in the
doctor's hospital, are symptomatic and have been admitted to the
isolation ward in Rivers," Chukwu said, although he added that
preliminary tests had been negative for Ebola.
The outbreak of Ebola in West Africa is the world's worst ever. It
has killed at least 1,550 people, and the World Health Organization
says it could infect 20,000 more.
(Reporting by Camillus Eboh; Writing by Tim Cocks; Editing by Lisa
Shumaker; Editing by Larry King)
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