Skip to main content

Nigerian doctor has Ebola, officials say

By Faith Karimi and Ashley Fantz, CNN
updated 3:13 PM EDT, Mon August 4, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Diagnosis comes three weeks after Liberian-American man died from virus
  • "We know what needs to be done," CDC director says
  • Experts will also help implement stronger systems to fight the disease, CDC chief says

Atlanta (CNN) -- A Nigerian doctor has been diagnosed with Ebola nearly three weeks after a Liberian-American man with Ebola died after traveling to Lagos, Nigerian officials said Monday.

Nigerian Minister of Health Onyebuchi Chukwu told reporters that the infected physician had been treating Patrick Sawyer, a top government official in the Liberian Ministry of Finance who died of Ebola in a Nigerian hospital July 20.

Eight other people are being quarantined and three are awaiting Ebola test results, the health minister said.

Read more about Patrick Sawyer's death

Ebola transport team speaks to CNN
First American Ebola patient comes home
Ebola health care workers carry the body of a man suspected of dying from the Ebola virus in a small village on the outskirts of Monrovia, Liberia, on Friday, December 5. Health officials say the Ebola outbreak in West Africa is the deadliest ever. More than 6,000 people have died there, according to the World Health Organization. Ebola health care workers carry the body of a man suspected of dying from the Ebola virus in a small village on the outskirts of Monrovia, Liberia, on Friday, December 5. Health officials say the Ebola outbreak in West Africa is the deadliest ever. More than 6,000 people have died there, according to the World Health Organization.
The Ebola epidemic
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
>
>>
Photos: The Ebola epidemic Photos: The Ebola epidemic
Map: The Ebola outbreak  Map: The Ebola outbreak
Map: The Ebola outbreakMap: The Ebola outbreak

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization reports an outbreak of the virus in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Nigeria is believed to have infected 1,440 people and killed more than 826 this year.

The United States is planning to send 50 health experts to West Africa to help contain the outbreak.

"This is the biggest and most complex Ebola outbreak in history," CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden said in a statement.

"It will take many months, and it won't be easy, but Ebola can be stopped. We know what needs to be done," he said.

Frieden said the 50 experts from the CDC will work to combat the outbreak and help implement stronger systems to fight the disease.

The Ebola virus causes viral hemorrhagic fever, which affects multiple organ systems in the body and is often accompanied by bleeding.

Early symptoms include sudden onset of fever, weakness, muscle pain, headaches and a sore throat. They later progress to vomiting, diarrhea, impaired kidney and liver function -- and sometimes internal and external bleeding.

The United States had not treated an Ebola patient until last week, but the CDC has spearheaded efforts to prepare for the deadly virus.

It helped create an isolation unit at Emory University Hospital, which is being used to treat American doctor Kent Brantly, who contracted Ebola in Liberia and was evacuated to the facility in Atlanta over the weekend.

A second American patient, Nancy Writebol, is scheduled to arrive from Liberia on Tuesday. She will undergo treatment at the same unit.

Emory is one of four U.S. institutions capable of providing such treatment.

But in the nations hardest-hit and not as prepared, the reality is grim. Even in the best-case scenario, it could take three to six months to stem the epidemic in West Africa, Frieden said.

Ebola spreads through contact with organs and bodily fluids such as blood, saliva, urine and other secretions of infected people. It has no cure. The most common treatment requires supporting organ functions and maintaining bodily fluids such as blood and water long enough for the body to fight off the infection.

So far, the outbreak has been confined to West Africa.

Ebola also claimed the life of a medical director at a hospital in Liberia's capital, Monrovia. Dr. Patrick Nshamdze tested positive Tuesday after being sick for two weeks. He died Saturday.

In Sierra Leone, where government officials have asked citizens to stay away from work, the military has deployed at least 750 medical officials to 13 locations, military spokesman Col. Michael Samura said.

Health officials are screening incoming and outgoing passengers at the country's main international airport with a device that takes people's temperature from their eyes at a distance.

Anyone showing signs of fever is quarantined and their blooded in tested.

What is the risk of catching Ebola on a plane?

Experts: U.S. health care system well-prepared for Ebola

Ebola's frontline: Battling fear and deadly virus

CNN's David McKenzie contributed to this report from Freetown, Sierra Leone. Journalist Heather Murdock reported from Nigeria. CNN's Nana Karikari-apau and Christabelle Fombu contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
The largest Ebola epidemic in history began with the simple act of caring for a child. Soon, it spread from the remote village in Guinea.
updated 9:27 AM EST, Tue November 4, 2014
The worst-ever outbreak of Ebola virus is stretching the medical capacities of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
updated 4:11 PM EDT, Tue October 28, 2014
Before the deaths soared into the thousands, before the outbreak triggered global fears, Ebola struck a toddler named Emile Ouamouno.
updated 7:51 AM EDT, Mon October 13, 2014
What happens when you get Ebola? CNN's Miguel Marquez explains.
updated 3:52 PM EDT, Sat October 25, 2014
Health experts are fast-tracking tests for various vaccines, and hope to have millions of experimental doses by next year.
updated 7:54 PM EDT, Tue September 30, 2014
Ebola is a scary infectious disease but the first thing you should know is that it's not very contagious. Here is how it spreads.
updated 12:46 PM EDT, Mon October 20, 2014
These questions and answers will give you the latest information on the deadly virus and what's being done to stop its spread.
updated 11:32 AM EDT, Tue October 21, 2014
Up to three Ebola-infected travelers might board an international flight each month in West Africa, according to a new study, and potentially spread the deadly virus.
updated 9:45 PM EDT, Mon October 20, 2014
There's no cure for Ebola. So why have some patients walked away healthy while others in the West died?
updated 6:25 AM EDT, Mon October 20, 2014
A doctor at a government-run Ebola treatment center in Monrovia is too busy to mince words.
updated 7:33 AM EDT, Mon October 20, 2014
Two children orphaned by Ebola play in the empty corner of a Liberian orphanage. Their parents died last month, and none of the extended family is willing to claim them.
updated 12:55 PM EDT, Tue October 14, 2014
Public health experts are asking whether the CDC is partly to blame for problems with Ebola in the U.S. Here are 5 things they say the CDC is getting wrong.
updated 3:59 PM EDT, Sat October 18, 2014
The lack of solid protocol on what to do with Ebola victims' pets and what little is known about the risk has caused one dog to be euthanized and another quarantined.
updated 1:58 AM EDT, Tue October 14, 2014
Rosie Tomkins takes a look at the protective suits that are worn by some Ebola medical workers in Africa.
updated 8:52 AM EDT, Mon October 13, 2014
What's the protocol for health care workers if they suspect a patient has the virus
updated 2:08 PM EST, Wed December 10, 2014
Click through our gallery as we track the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
A look at CNN's complete coverage on the Ebola crisis.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT