ABUJA (Reuters) - Nigeria has confirmed 10 cases of Ebola, the latest being a doctor who treated the Liberian man who brought the disease to Lagos, and four have died, the health minister said on Thursday.
Earlier, Health Minister Onyebuchi Chukwu said there had been 11 cases, but later that this had been an error owing to “double counting in the process of communicating the additional death from the operational centre in Lagos”.
The doctor had been one of those involved in the initial treatment of Patrick Sawyer, a Liberian who collapsed at Lagos airport on July 20, Chukwu told a news conference in the capital Abuja.
“The fourth death recorded today was a Nigerian nurse who participated in the initial management of the index case,” his subsequent statement said.
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. The current outbreak 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 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 that after initial screening, it was determined that only six people had been in contact with her, and they put those six under surveillance.
A total of 169 people were being monitored in Lagos, after eight others were cleared, including all of Sawyer’s primary contacts from when he entered the country.
The government also announced that the 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 55-60 percent of those have contracted the disease.
Writing by Tim Cocks; Editing by Mark Heinrich