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Nigerian Officials Race to Stop Spread of Ebola Outbreak

The death of a man from Ebola in Nigeria has demonstrated how easily people can transport the disease via air travel, raising fears of a growing outbreak.

ABUJA, Nigeria — Nigerian health authorities raced to stop the spread of Ebola on Saturday after a man sick with one of the world's deadliest diseases brought it by plane to Lagos, Africa's largest city with 21 million people. Authorities announced Friday that blood tests from the Lagos University Teaching Hospital confirmed Patrick Sawyer, a consultant for the Liberian Ministry of Finance, died of Ebola earlier that day. On his way to Lagos, Sawyer's plane also stopped in Lome, Togo, according to the World Health Organization.

The incident in Nigeria raised fears that other passengers could take the disease beyond Africa due to weak inspection of passengers and the fact Ebola's symptoms are similar to other diseases. Ebola has caused some 672 deaths across a wide swath of West Africa. International airports in Nigeria are now screening passengers arriving from foreign countries for symptoms of Ebola, and airports in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone have implemented some preventive measures, according to officials in those countries. But none of the safeguards are foolproof, say health experts.


— The Associated Press