ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — A man who contracted Ebola in Nigeria after coming into contact with a traveler from Liberia evaded surveillance and infected a doctor in southern Nigeria who later died, Nigerian health authorities announced Thursday.
The death was the first in Nigeria outside Lagos, the commercial capital. The incident raises the number of confirmed cases in the country to 15, including six deaths.
Health Minister Onyebuchi Chukwu told reporters the man who evaded surveillance has recovered and is now being watched in Lagos. The wife of the doctor who treated him in Port Harcourt is also now being quarantined after she developed symptoms of the deadly disease.
The man is a worker at the Economic Community Of West African States, who was a primary contact of Liberian-American Patrick Sawyer, who flew into Lagos last month and died of Ebola. He recovered after the late doctor treated him for symptoms.
The doctor died on Friday in Port Harcourt and hasn’t been buried yet, the minister said, adding that morticians who embalmed him are part of 70 people now under surveillance in Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers state and a hub for Nigeria’s oil industry. The country is Africa’s largest oil producer.
Nigeria doesn’t share land borders with the three other Ebola-affected countries – Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea – and the first case arrived into Lagos by air.
The disease has killed more than 1,400 people in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, and Doctors Without Borders warned that the tremendous influx of patients in Liberia, in particular, is overwhelming their treatment centers there.