ABUJA (Reuters) - Nigeria has confirmed 11 cases of Ebola, after a doctor who treated the Liberian man who brought the disease to Lagos fell ill, the health minister said on Thursday.
The doctor had been one of those involved in the initial treatment of Patrick Sawyer, who collapsed at Lagos airport on July 20, Health Minister Onyebuchi Chukwu told a news conference in the capital Abuja.
A member of staff of West African regional economic body Ecowas this week became the third person in Nigeria to die of the disease, which has no proven cure and has killed more than 1,000 people across four West African countries.
“Eight (others) are still alive, more than half of them are doing very well and actually showing signs of recovery ... under treatment,” Chukwu said.
A nurse with Ebola, which she caught from Sawyer, skipped quarantine in Lagos and headed to her home in the southeastern city of Enugu, where she was suspected to have had contact with 20 other people.
However, Chukwu said after initial screening, they realised only six people had been in contact with her, and they put those six under surveillance.
A total of 169 people were under surveillance in Lagos, after eight others were cleared, including all of Sawyer’s primary contacts from when he came in.
The government also announced that Dangote Group, owned by Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote, had donated $150 million to halt the spread of the virus.
The World Health Organization has called this Ebola outbreak, whose worst affected countries include Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia, an international emergency. It has killed around 55 to 60 percent of those have contracted the disease.