Voice of America (Washington, DC)

22 August 2014

Nigeria Confirms Ebola Cases From Secondary Contact

Nigeria's health minister has confirmed the country's first cases of Ebola in people who did not have direct contact with Patrick Sawyer, an infected Liberian-American who traveled to Lagos from Liberia.

Onyebuchi Chukwu says the spouses of two Ebola patients who had contact with Sawyer have also become infected.

Chukwu said Friday that the total number of confirmed infections in Nigeria had risen to 14. He said five people have died from the virus.

Senegal seals border

In another development, Senegal became the latest African country to seal its border in a bid to prevent the spread of Ebola.

The country announced it is closing its border with Guinea and banning flights from affected West African countries.

A number of countries, including South Africa and Cameroon, recently imposed travel bans.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says 1,350 people have died from Ebola in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. It says more than 2,400 other people may be infected.

At a Friday briefing, WHO spokeswoman Fadela Chaib said the U.N. health agency is working on a "road map document" to combat the virus. She said the strategy will have details of plans to combat the virus over the next six to nine months.

Ebola is transmitted through direct contact with blood or bodily fluids of an infected person.

The disease causes fever, vomiting, diarrhea and uncontrollable bleeding through bodily openings, including the eyes, ears and nose. Previous outbreaks have had a death rate of up to 90 percent, although the death rate in the current epidemic is closer to 50 percent.

Two American aid workers who were infected with Ebola in Liberia left the U.S. hospital this week where they had been receiving treatment.

Doctors say Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol have recovered. They received the experimental drug ZMapp but doctors said they do not know if the medication helped them to recover.

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