LAGOS (AA) – Nigeria announced on Tuesday the discharge of two more Ebola patients, days after five were given a clean bill of health from the deadly disease that has claimed the lives of five people in Africa’s most populous nation.
“The minister of health [Onyebuchi Chukwu] announces that two treated patients, a male and a female, were discharged yesterday,” health ministry spokesman Dan Nwomeh said in a statement.
He said that out of a total of 13 infections, five had since died while seven had been treated and discharged.
“The last patient in the isolation ward [is] stable,” added the spokesman.
Nigeria recorded its first case of the virus with Liberian national Patrick Sawyer, who fell ill on a Monrovia-Lagos flight and later died of the virus inside Nigeria.
Four Nigerians later died of Ebola, all of whom were infected through contact with Sawyer.
Health officials say those earlier placed under surveillance – all of them secondary contacts from Sawyer – had been left alone after none of them showed any sign of infection after the 21 days within which the virus is expected to manifest itself.
All the cases were registered in the commercial city of Lagos, where Sawyer was treated and cremated after his death.
Nigeria had earlier declared Ebola a national health emergency, with various measures put in place to curb its spread – including the screening of inbound and outbound passengers, warnings not to shake hands, and restrictions on the movement of dead bodies.
In recent months, Ebola – a contagious disease for which there is no known treatment or cure – has claimed at least 1429 lives in West Africa, mostly in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.
Four fatalities have also been confirmed in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The tropical fever, which first appeared in 1976 in Sudan and the DRC, 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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