LAGOS (AA) – Nigeria has confirmed the death of another nurse from Ebola virus, the fourth fatality from the deadly virus since the first casualty was recorded on July 24.
“The fourth death recorded today was a Nigerian nurse who participated in the initial management of the index case,” Health Minister Onyebuchi Chukwu said Thursday in a statement in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.
The minister, however, pointed out that the number of confirmed Ebola cases remain 10, and not 11 he earlier quoted at a press briefing earlier today.
“It is important to note that the number of confirmed cases remains 10 as at today and not 11 as earlier announced this morning,” he said.
“We regret the error which arose from double counting in the process of communicating the additional death from the operational center in Lagos to the federal ministry of health.”
The minister also clarified that 15 of the 21 people placed under watch in southeastern Enugu State have been cleared.
The 21 people had been placed under close watch after having come in contact with a nurse who was among those who attended to Liberian Patrick Sawyer, who gave Nigeria its first index case.
In recent months, Ebola – a contagious disease for which there is no known treatment or cure – has claimed more than 1000 lives across West Africa, especially in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone.
The tropical fever, which first appeared in 1976 in Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo, can be transmitted to humans from wild animals.
It also reportedly spreads through contact with the body fluids of infected persons or of those who have died of the disease.
It is the first time Nigeria has seen an Ebola outbreak since the discovery of the virus in 1976.
President Goodluck Jonathan has declared a state of national emergency in an effort to halt its spread, backed by $1.6 million for a raft of preventative measures.
At the moment, the virus is thought to be restricted to Lagos – a city notorious for its lack of sanitation and a transportation system that caters to some 20 million residents.
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