A Nigerian doctor has been diagnosed with Ebola, nearly three weeks after a Liberian-American man with Ebola died after traveling to Lagos, officials say. Nigerian Health Minister Onyebuchi Chukwu said Monday the doctor helped treat Patrick Sawyer, the Liberian-American man who died in late July.
Sawyer, who was traveling to Nigeria on business, became ill while aboard a flight and Nigerian authorities immediately took him into isolation. They did not quarantine his fellow passengers, and have insisted that the risk of additional cases was minimal.
Nigeria is the fourth country to report Ebola cases and at least 887 other people have died in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, according to the World Health Organization.
“This is the biggest and most complex Ebola outbreak in history,” Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in a statement.
“It will take many months, and it won’t be easy, but Ebola can be stopped. We know what needs to be done. CDC is surging our response, sending 50 additional disease control experts to the region in the next 30 days.”
Frieden said the 50 experts from the CDC will work to combat the outbreak and help implement stronger systems to fight the disease.
The Ebola virus causes viral hemorrhagic fever, which affects multiple organ systems in the body and is often accompanied by bleeding.
Early symptoms include sudden onset of fever, weakness, muscle pain, headaches and a sore throat. They later progress to vomiting, diarrhea, impaired kidney and liver function — and sometimes internal and external bleeding.