Doctor confirmed as second Ebola case in Nigeria

Seoul university withdraws students’ invite to Nigerians as outbreak toll hits 887

PUBLISHED : Monday, 04 August, 2014, 9:20pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 05 August, 2014, 12:21pm

Nigeria has confirmed the country's second case of Ebola in a doctor who treated a Liberian man who died of the virus last month in Lagos.

This comes as a South Korean university rescinded an invitation for three Nigerians to attend a conference and a group of South Korean medical volunteers called off a trip to West Africa amid growing concerns about the spread of the deadly virus. World Health Organisation said yesterday that the Ebola death toll had grown from 729 to 887 in recent days.

Nigeria, whose population of about 170 million is more people than Germany and France combined, recorded its first case of Ebola after an infected Liberian man, Patrick Sawyer, flew into Lagos, Africa's largest city, and died on July 25.

"As of today, one of the doctors that treated the late Mr Sawyer has tested positive for the Ebola virus," Nigeria's health minister Onyebuchi Chukwu said. He said that eight of the 70 other people believed to have come in contact with the dead man had been quarantined in an isolation ward.

Watch: What is the Ebola virus

The emergence of a second case raises serious concerns about the infection control practices in Nigeria, and also raises the spectre that more cases could emerge.

Meanwhile, a second American infected with the disease was scheduled to fly to the US today for treatment, following a colleague who was admitted over the weekend to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta.

Liberian Information Minister Lewis Brown confirmed plans for Nancy Writebol to depart with a medical evacuation team.

In Seoul, the Duksung Women's University said the school "politely withdrew" its invitation for three Nigerian students to attend an international conference it is co-hosting with the United Nations.

The university said it would go ahead with the conference, attended by students, including 28 from Africa.

Since February, more than 700 people in West Africa have died from Ebola, a hemorrhagic virus with a death rate of up to 90 per cent of those infected. The fatality rate in the current epidemic is about 60 per cent.

South Korea yesterday issued a special travel advisory asking people to refrain from visiting Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, while a group of South Korean medical volunteers scrapped an annual trip to African countries.

Associated Press, Agence France-Presse