The Lagos doctor who treated American Patrick Sawyer (who died from Ebola in late July) has been confirmed as infected by the deadly virus by Nigerian authorities. This is Nigeria's second confirmed case of Ebola but what is most concerning is the fact that the doctor's infection suggests contagion is less well-contained that authorities have claimed - especially in light of the fact that they did not quarantine Sawyer's fellow passengers. Nigeria is now the fourth nation to report Ebola cases, as Sierra Leone and Liberia are deploying hundreds of troops under an emergency plan to "contain" the worst outbreak of Ebola virus in history.
Nigerian authorities say they have confirmed a second case of Ebola in Africa's most populous country, an alarming development after a man who flew by plane to the country died of Ebola.
Nigerian Health Minister Onyebuchi Chukwu said Monday that the second person with Ebola is a doctor who had helped treat Patrick Sawyer, the Liberian-American man who died of Ebola in late July.
Sawyer, who was traveling to Nigeria on business, became ill while aboard a flight and Nigerian authorities immediately took him into isolation. They did not quarantine his fellow passengers, and have insisted that the risk of additional cases was minimal.
But it seems this is changing now as contagion concerns rise...
According to the Minister, 70 people are now placed under surveillance while eight people would be quarantined on Monday for developing symptoms of the disease.
Apart from taking those steps, the government has also set up a treatment research group, that will carry out treatment research, receive and verify treatment claims as well as advise government on issues relating to Ebola virus in Nigeria.
Nigeria is the fourth country to report Ebola cases and at least 728 other people have died in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. And as Reuters reports, troops are now being deployed to manage the chaos...
Hundreds of troops deployed in Sierra Leone and Liberia on Monday under an emergency plan to fight the worst outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus, which has killed more than 826 people across West Africa.
Panic among local communities, which have attacked health workers and threatened to burn down isolation wards, prompted regional governments to impose tough measures last week, including the closure of schools and quarantine of the remote forest region hardest hit by the disease.
Long convoys of military trucks ferried troops and medical workers on Monday to Sierra Leone's far east, where the density of cases is highest. Military spokesman Colonel Michael Samoura said the operation, code named Octopus, involved around 750 military personnel.
Troops will gather in the southeastern town of Bo before travelling to isolated communities to implement quarantines, he added. Healthcare workers will be allowed to come and go freely, and the communities will be kept supplied with food.
In neighbouring Liberia, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and ministers held a crisis meeting on Sunday on putting in place a series of anti-Ebola measures as police contained infected communities in the northern Lofa county.
Police were setting up checkpoints and roadblocks for key entrance and exit points to those infected communities and every resident would be stopped. Nobody would be allowed to exit quarantined communities. Troops were fanning out across Liberia to help to deal with the emergency.
"The situation will probably get worse before it gets better," Liberian Information Minister Lewis Brown told Reuters. "We are over-stretched. We need support; we need resources; we need workers."
Director of Liberian National Police Chris Massaquoi said last week that troops would place forces in areas where crowds had previously stoned health workers. He added that all protests, demonstrations and marches had been forbidden.