LAGOS (AA) – Nigeria has confirmed two more cases of the Ebola virus, bringing the total number of confirmed infections to 14 countrywide, according to Health Minister Onyebuchi Chukwu.
“The two patients are spouses of those that had primary contacts with Mr. [Patrick] Sawyer,” Chukwu told a news briefing in capital Abuja.
Sawyer, a Liberian national believed to have brought the virus into the country, fell ill on a Monrovia-Lagos flight and later died of the virus inside Nigeria.
The latest cases were reported in the commercial city of Lagos, where Sawyer had succumbed to the disease.
Four Nigerians have died of Ebola to date, the most recent of whom was a female doctor who had led the medical team that attended to Sawyer.
“This now brings to four the total number of Ebola patients currently under treatment in the isolation ward,” said Chukwu.
“This also brings the total number of [Ebola] cases so far reported in the country to 14,” the minister added.
Five patients earlier diagnosed with the virus have survived it.
President Goodluck Jonathan has already declared a state of national emergency in hopes of curbing the spread of the virus.
In recent months, Ebola – a contagious disease for which there is no known treatment or cure – has claimed hundreds of lives in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.
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.
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