Nigerian authorities say they are working to confirm what they fear is the country’s first case of Ebola, in a man who died after flying from Liberia. If it turns out to be true, it would be the first time Ebola has been carried on a jet and would make for a worrying turn in the worst Ebola outbreak yet seen. More than 1,000 people have been infected and more than 600 of them have died in the outbreak in West Africa.
Nigerian Health Minister Onyebuchi Chukwu said Patrick Sawyer, a Liberian citizen, collapsed on Sunday after flying into Lagos. He died after being put into isolation. Officials said Sawyer’s sister had died of Ebola in recent weeks. "His blood sample was taken to the advance laboratory at the Lagos university teaching hospital, which confirmed the diagnosis of the Ebola virus disease in the patient," Chukwu told a news conference on Friday. It’s tricky testing for Ebola and the World Health Organization, which tallies Ebola cases, said it was waiting for the results of a second, confirmatory test. Lagos city health commissioner Jide Idris said officials were only "assuming that it was Ebola" while waiting for confirmation from a lab in Senegal. There are other viral hemorrhagic fevers in Africa that can resemble Ebola, notably Lassa fever, dengue and yellow fever.
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-- Maggie Fox (Reuters and AP contributed to this report)
First published July 25 2014, 3:09 PM