Ebola crisis: Nigerian Health Minister confirms two new cases

Two new cases bring total number infected to 14

Nigeria has two new cases of Ebola outside the group of caregivers who treated an airline passenger who arrived with the virus and died, the Health Minister has confirmed.

Onyebuchi Chukwu said the two new cases are spouses of Ebola patients who had direct contact with Liberian-American Patrick Sawyer. He flew into the country last month with the virus and infected 11 others before he died.

Nigerian officials initially claimed the risk of exposure to others was minimal because Mr Sawyer was placed into isolation immediately after arriving at the airport.

However, Lagos state health commissioner Jide Idris acknowledged earlier this month that Mr Sawyer was not immediately quarantined the first day, the Associated Press reports.

These two new cases bring the total number of confirmed infections in Nigeria, including the traveller, to 14.

On Wednesday, police in Liberia opened fire on the West Point town ship after it was blocked in a bid to prevent Ebola spreading.

Read more: Ebola crisis: This is why '75%' of victims are women
Ebola virus outbreak: Woman in California tested for deadly virus

Teenager Shakie Kamara was one of three people who sustained serious injuries during an altercation Wednesday that erupted after security forces blocked roads in and out of the West Point which houses at least 50,000 people. He has since died from his injuries.

 

The area has been the most heavily affected by the crisis, with 576 deaths. More than 1,350 have been killed by the disease across Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.

The area was quarantined after protesters broke into an Ebola screening clinic and looted the building, taking bloodied mattresses and sheets, causing 17 patients to flee.

Additional reporting by agencies

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