August 6, 2014 5:55 am
Updated: August 6, 2014 6:29 am

Nigerian Health Minister says nurse died of Ebola

Nigerian health officials wait to screen passengers at the arrivals hall of Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos, Nigeria, Monday, Aug. 4, 2014.

AP Photo/Sunday Alamba

ABUJA, Nigeria – A Nigerian nurse has died of Ebola and the country has five other confirmed cases of the disease, Health Minister Onyebuchi Chukwu said Wednesday.

The nurse had treated a man who flew into Lagos and later died of Ebola last month, Chukwu said in a statement handed to reporters in Abuja, the capital.

He said the five confirmed Ebola patients are being treated in isolation in Lagos, sub-Saharan Africa’s largest city with 21 million people.

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The five with the disease had direct contact with Liberian-American Patrick Sawyer who was sick when he flew into Lagos and died five days later on July 25. Authorities are now following up with others who had contact with Sawyer to see if they are showing Ebola symptoms.

READ MORE: Spain to repatriate priest who contracted Ebola virus in Liberia

Chukwu said officials are setting up an emergency centre to deal with Ebola which will be “fully functional” Thursday.

“We are embarking on recruiting additional health personnel to strengthen the team who are currently managing the situation in Lagos,” said his statement.

He said special tents would be used to speed up the establishment of isolation wards in all of Nigeria’s states.

© The Canadian Press, 2014

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