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article imageLiberian man with Ebola-like symptoms has died in Nigeria

By Karen Graham     Jul 25, 2014 in Health
Lagos - RTE News has announced that the Liberian official who arrived in Nigeria from Monrovia on Sunday and was hospitalized with symptoms associated with Ebola Virus Disease has died. Nigerian officials are awaiting results of blood tests before confirming EVD.
The 40-year old Liberian official, identified as Mr. Patrick Sawyer, a WASH consultant at the Ministry of Finance, was immediately placed in an isolation ward on arrival in Lagos on Sunday. At that time he was said to be suffering symptoms resembling Malaria, according to Nigerian officials. But hospital officials said he was throwing up and had diarrhea.
While it is important to note that at this time, blood tests have not confirmed the official has died from EVD, a source at the state Health Minister's office said, "The Liberian man has died. We are still investigating the circumstances of his death."
The patient's blood has been sent to the World Health Organization laboratories and a lab in Lagos. A third sample of blood was also sent to a lab outside Nigeria, and officials are awaiting those results before making any announcements on this case.
FrontPageAfrica.com is reporting that they have obtained information on the Liberian official that contradicts what Nigeria is saying about the patient having no previous contact with anyone with Ebola. According to FrontPageAfrica,com:
"The man suspected of the deadly virus reportedly came in contact with the disease when caring for his sister who died as a result of the deadly virus at the St. Joseph Catholic Hospital in Monrovia about three weeks ago. He is said to have also gone after his dead sister's husband who is said to have run away after the woman's death."
Liberian officials told FrontPageAfrica that the Nigerian blood tests were inconclusive on Thursday night. The specimens taken to the WHO laboratory in Dakar had not come back at that time. But amid all the political wrangling going on in trying to find our exactly what was happening, the Liberian Mission in Lagos expressed its unhappiness with Nigeria for releasing information saying this was a suspected case of Ebola.
"Without waiting for the result, the result was leaked. ECOWAS is prepared to evacuate him on a medical plane, but waiting for the result. By 12 Friday, the results will be out", a Liberian diplomat in Lagos told FrontPageAfrica.
Liberia has recorded 172 cases with EVD and 105 confirmed deaths. At a news conference on Thursday, and not describing what kind of infection the government was talking about, Yewande Adeshina, special adviser on health for the Lagos government, said "the immediate concern was not to create panic." She further said that an emergency response has been started, with the first objective finding all the people who had been in contact with the official in order to halt the spread of infection.
Nigeria is Africa's biggest economy, and has a population of 170 million people. Lagos is a severely congested city, with poor sanitation and a weak health-care system. An outbreak of the Ebola virus could prove to be devastating.
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