skip to content skip to search skip to navigation Listen Live skip to logon
Tuesday 16th September 2014
Max 23°C | Min 16°C

Nigeria Confirms First 'Secondary' Ebola Cases

Friday, 22nd August 2014 15:19

Ebola fears in Nigeria have heightened after two more people tested positive, despite having no contact with the man who brought the virus into the country.

The infected people are spouses of a man and woman who had contact with Patrick Sawyer, the Liberian-American who died in July after flying into Abuja and infecting 11 others.

It comes as blood tests confirmed an Irish engineer who died on Thursday did not have ebola.

Dessie Quinn, 43, had been working in Sierra Leone, one of the countries struggling with the current outbreak.

Nigerian officials now have more than 200 potential ebola cases under "surveillance" after the discovery of the secondary infections.

"They were quarantined two days ago," said Health Minister Onyebuchi Chukwu.

"But the other ones that were quarantined along with them have been released.

"Those on treatment (in isolation) currently are four - two primary contacts, two secondary contacts. Presently altogether we have 213 on surveillance."

Patrick Sawyer, 40, died from ebola after becoming sick during a flight to Nigeria from the Liberian capital, Monrovia.

Two doctors, two nurses, and a man who picked him up from Abuja airport also died.

The World Health Organisation said earlier this week it was hopeful over the situation in Nigeria because all the cases there had come from a single chain of transmission.

The country now has 14 confirmed cases, including five deaths.

Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone have suffered the worst from the outbreak, accounting for most of the 1,350 fatalities.

Liberian capital Monrovia, in particular, has seen chaotic scenes in recent days as ebola cases increase.

The local crematorium is struggling to burn the infected bodies and is having to send some back to the hospital, according to the Red Cross.

Troops have also fired tear gas to enforce a quarantine zone and prevent looting in the city?s huge West Point slum.

A teenage boy, Shakie Kamara, has died after being shot by security forces earlier this week, Information Minister Lewis Brown said on Friday.

Senegal has become the latest country to lock down its border with an ebola-affected neighbour, closing its land border with Guinea.

Decisions to bar widespread use of an experimental ebola drug have caused controversy.

Two Americans, Kent Brantly, 33, and Nancy Writebol, 60, recovered after taking ZMapp, but there are no plans to send it to the heart of the outbreak.

Specialists believe the pair, who were treated in Atlanta, now pose "no public health threat" and will probably be immune to the disease.