Accra (Nigeria): Nigeria has become the fourth country in the West African region to record a death from the deadly Ebola disease, the country’s Health Minister Onyebuchi Chukwu confirmed.
The victim was a 40-year-old Liberian national who had come to Nigeria’s commercial capital Lagos. He was admitted last Sunday after he reported ill, showing symptoms of the disease.
Guinea, Liberia and Sierra have already reported about 1,093 cases with 660 deaths as of July 20. The World Health Organisation (WHO) says the Ebola virus disease (EVD), formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever, is often fatal in humans. It said outbreaks occur primarily in remote villages in Central and West Africa near tropical rain forests and it is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads through human-to-human transmission.
Leaders of the regional grouping, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) set up a disease control centre in the Guinean capital, Conakry, to help fight the spread of the disease in the next six months.
Luis Sambo, the Africa Regional director of WHO said, “Research in Africa is weak and more research must be directed in order to align it with the developmental agenda of problems that we face on the continent,” he added.
With the spread of the disease in the region, there have been some calls for the closure of borders but Keiji Fukuda, deputy director general of the WHO, said his organisation had decided against this move because it was not an effective way of dealing with it.
Ebola symptoms start two days to three weeks after contracting the virus with a fever, throat and muscle pain, and headaches. This is followed by nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, liver and kidney failure.