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Second Ebola death confirmed in Nigeria as Spain plans evacuation of sick missionary

Almost 900 people have died since the latest outbreak of the disease earlier this year in West Africa.

A map showing global health issues under the surveillance at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.
A map showing global health issues under the surveillance at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.
Image: David Goldman

NIGERIAN HEALTH OFFICIALS today confirmed five new cases of Ebola in Lagos and a second death from the virus.

The latest confirmation beings the total number of Ebola cases in Nigeria to seven.

Since the latest outbreak of the disease in March, almost 900 people have died and over 1,600 people have been infected in West Africa.

Health minister Onyebuchi Chukw said that “all the Nigerians diagnosed with EBV were primary contacts” of Patrick Sawyer, who worked for Liberia’s finance ministry and recently died from the disease.

Sawyer contracted the disease from his sister, who he cared for during her illness, before travelling to Nigeria for work. He died in quarantine on 25 July and medical staff who had contact with him have been either quarantined or placed under medical supervision.

There is no vaccine or cure for Ebola, but the latest outbreak has increased pressure to develop a treatment or a vaccination. The World Health Organisation has emphasised that homeopathy cannot cure the viral disease, which first appeared in the 1970s and has a case fatality rate of up to 90%.

Meanwhile, Spanish authorities are preparing to evacuate a Spanish missionary who has been diagnosed with the highly contagious disease.

The Spanish government said today that it will send an air force plane to Liberia to evacuate a 75-year-old Catholic priest for treatment back in Spain. However, Spain’s health ministry said earlier today that no decision had been made on where the priest would be treated.

The US recently brought two Americans who were infected with Ebola while caring for patients in Liberia back to the US for quarantined treatment under the supervision of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The organisation has stressed that bringing the two patients into the US does not pose any threat to public health in America:

CDC infographic

- Additional reporting by the AFP

Read: World Bank pledges $200 million to help fight Ebola >

Video: What exactly is the Ebola virus? >

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