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|U.S Doctor Working In Liberia On Ebola Patients Tested Positive by Barselonia(m): 3:16pm On Jul 30, 2014|
A US doctor working with ebola patients in Liberia has
tested positive for the deadly virus.
The aid organisation Samaritan’s Purse issued a news
release on Saturday saying Dr Kent Brantly was being
treated at a hospital in Monrovia, the capital. Brantly had
been serving as medical director for the aid
organisation’s case management centre there.
Samaritan’s Purse spokeswoman Melissa Strickland said
Brantly’s wife and children had been living with him in
Africa, but were now in the US.
Brantly was quoted in a posting on the organisation’s
website earlier this year about efforts to maintain an
isolation ward for patients.
“The hospital is taking great effort to be prepared,” Brantly
said. “In past ebola outbreaks, many of the casualties have
been healthcare workers who contracted the disease
through their work caring for infected individuals.”
The disease has already killed 672 in four West African
countries since the outbreak began earlier this year.
Last week a Liberian man died of ebola in Lagos, the first
confirmed case in Africa’s biggest city of 21 million people.
Nigerian health authorities, anxious to stop the spread of
the disease, are concerned that the sick man had boarded
an international flight.
They feared other passengers could take the disease beyond
Africa due to weak inspection of passengers and the fact
ebola’s symptoms are similar to other
diseases such as malaria and typhoid.
Officials in Togo, where the sick man’s flight had a
stopover, also went on high alert after learning that ebola
could possibly have spread to a fifth country.
Screening people as they enter the country may help slow
the spread of the disease, but it is no guarantee ebola won’t
travel by plane, said Dr Lance Plyler, who heads ebola
medical efforts in Liberia for the aid organisation
An ebola outbreak in Lagos, where many live in cramped
conditions, could be a disaster.
Nigerian newspapers describe the effort as a
“scramble” to contain the threat after the Liberian arrived in
Lagos and then died on Friday.
International airports in Nigeria are screening
passengers arriving from foreign countries for
symptoms of ebola, said Yakubu Dati, a spokesman for the
Federal Aviation Authority of Nigeria.
Airports in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the three other
West African countries affected by the outbreak, have
implemented some preventive measures, according to
officials in those countries.
But none of the safeguards is foolproof.
Doctors say health screens could be effective, but ebola has
a variable incubation period of between two and 21 days
and cannot be diagnosed on the spot.
Patrick Sawyer, a consultant for the Liberian ministry of
finance, arrived in Nigeria on Tuesday and was immediately
detained by health authorities suspecting he might have
Authorities announced on Friday that blood tests from the
Lagos University teaching hospital confirmed Sawyer died
of ebola earlier that day.
Sawyer reportedly did not show ebola symptoms when he
boarded the plane.
Nearly 50 other passengers on the flight are being
monitored for signs of ebola but are not being kept in
isolation, said an employee at Nigeria’s ministry of health,
who insisted on anonymity because he was not authorised
to speak to the media.
Sawyer’s sister also died of ebola in Liberia, according to
Liberian officials, but Sawyer claimed to have had no
contact with her.
Ebola is highly contagious and kills more than 70% of
people infected. It is passed by touching bodily fluids of
after they die.
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