Panic grows as Nigeria doctor contracts Ebola
LAGOS, Nigeria – Nigerian authorities said Monday, August 4, that a doctor in Lagos has contracted Ebola, the second case in the sprawling megacity as the deadliest ever outbreak of the disease continues to spread fear and panic across west Africa.
The confirmation that a 4th doctor had been infected comes as fear and anger about the dead being left unburied in Liberia's capital Monrovia brought protestors into the streets, while Sierra Leone's president said Monday that the epidemic threatened the "very essence" of the nation.
"This new case is one of the doctors who attended to the Liberian Ebola patient who died," Nigeria's Health Minister Onyebuchi Chukwu told journalists.
He said 70 other people believed to have come into contact with the Liberian government official were being monitored.
Of the 8 now in quarantine, 3 show "symptomatic" signs of the disease, he said.
More worrying still are reports from Liberia that victims' corpses were being dumped or abandoned. Protesters, who blocked major roads in the capital on Monday, claim the government is not collecting bodies of victims left to rot in the streets or in their homes.
At least 826 people have died from Ebola since the beginning of the year as the virus has spread across Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.
The Liberian government had warned against touching the dead or anyone ill with Ebola-like symptoms, which include fever, vomiting, severe headaches and muscular pain and, in the final stages, profuse bleeding.
"Four people died in this community. Because the government says that we should not touch bodies, no one has gone to bury them," Kamara Fofana, 56, a protestor in the Monrovia suburb of Douala, told Agence France-Presse. "We have been calling the ministry of health hotline to no avail."
Miatta Myers said her mother was one of the suspected victims. "Our mother was vomiting. We tried to call the ministry of health but we did not see anyone. For 5 days now her body has been in the house. The only way we can get the attention of the government is to block the road."
Roadblocks first sprang up across major routes at the weekend and have appeared in several Monrovia neighbourhoods since.
Deputy health minister Tolbert Nyensuah said the government was doing its best to collect bodies as quickly as possible. – with reports from Zoom Dosso in Monrovia/Rappler.com
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