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Liberian Man Tests Positive for Ebola in Nigeria

by VOA News July 25, 2014

Nigerian officials say a man who died in a Lagos hospital Friday has tested positive for the dreaded ebola virus.

​Nigeria becomes the fourth West African country to confirm the presence of ebola, which has killed hundreds of people this year in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

A VOA Hausa Service reporter in Lagos identified the deceased man as 40-year-old Patrick Sawyer, a Liberian who fell sick soon after arriving on a flight from Monrovia on Sunday.

He was taken to a private Lagos health facility and was later put in isolation by health officials who suspected he had ebola and sent blood samples out for testing.

The World Health Organization said Friday the ebola epidemic has now killed 660 people in West Africa - 314 in Guinea, 219 in Sierra Leone and 127 in Liberia.

Nearly 1,100 cases of ebola have been reported, but that number could rise quickly if the virus begins spreading in Nigeria - especially in Lagos, home to more than 17 million people.

The disease has spread despite containment measures by regional health officials, including the isolation of suspected ebola patients and warnings to avoid any physical contact with those infected by the virus.

Cultural practices such as caring for patients at home and family burials for those killed by the disease have undermined containment efforts.

There is no cure or vaccine for ebola, whose symptoms include fever, vomiting, diarrhea and bleeding from the eyes, ears, mouth and nose.

Some information in this report was provided by Reuters.

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