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In Largest-Ever Outbreak, Ebola Spreads To Nigeria

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Nigeria’s national health minister confirmed
that a Liberian man who died in a Nigerian
megacity on Friday tested positive for Ebola,
an often fatal virus that has killed nearly 700
people in the largest outbreak on record.
Reuters reported that the man collapsed at the
Lagos, Nigeria, airport on Sunday and was
taken to the hospital, where he was put in
quarantine. He died five days later.
Onyebuchi Chukwu, Nigeria’s national health
minister, said at a press conference that the
diagnosis had been confirmed by the Lagos
teaching hospital and by “other laboratories
outside Nigeria.” The state health minister
and the World Health Organization, however,
both said they were awaiting laboratory
confirmations, Reuters reported.
Ebola is a rapidly moving virus whose
symptoms include fever, weakness, internal
and external bleeding, according to the World
Health Organization (WHO). The global health
body says it is transmitted through contact
with an infected patient’s bodily fluids, or
exposure to environments where those fluids
have been.
There is no vaccine, and there is no cure, for
Ebola. Survival rates can be as low as 1 in 10;
so far in West Africa, just over 60% of
recorded cases have ended in death.
The first confirmed cases appeared in Guinea
in March. The disease has also spread to
Liberia, where the Associated
Press reported that a senior local doctor died
of the disease in the capital of Monrovia and
two American aid workers, including one
doctor, have been infected.
The disease has also spread to Sierra Leone.
Most cases in Sierra Leone are concentrated
in the country’s western region, which
borders Liberia. But the capital of Freetown
saw its first confirmed Ebola case this week —
and a national scare yesterday when the
patient’s family removed her from the
hospital. She died in the ambulance on her
way back, government officials said today.

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