Friday, 25 July 2014
Patrick Sawyer, Suspected Liberia Ebola Case in Lagos, Is Dead
FrontPageAfrica has been informed that Mr. Patrick Sawyer, a WASH consultant at the Ministry of Finance, who had been quarantined since falling ill after arriving in the Nigerian state of Lagos for a conference last Sunday, has died.
A Liberian government official, speaking on condition of anonymity said the news of Sawyer's death was relayed to Liberia by the Nigerian embassy, early Friday morning.
Nigerian government health authorities announced Thursday that Sawyer, 40 was being tested for the deadly Ebola virus in Nigeria's commercial capital of Lagos, a megacity of 21 million people.
Sawyer's death is the first recorded case of one of the world's deadliest diseases in Nigeria, Africa's biggest economy and most populous nation, with 170 million people and some of Africa's least adequate health infrastructure.
Ebola has killed 632 people across Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone since an outbreak began in February, straining a string of weak health systems despite international help.
The virus -- which starts off with flu-like symptoms and often ends with horrific hemorrhaging -- has infected about 1,048 people and killed an estimated 632 since this winter, according to the numbers on July 17 from the World Health Organization.
Ebola is both rare and very deadly. Since the first outbreak in 1976, Ebola viruses have infected thousands of people and killed about one-third of them. Symptoms can come on very quickly and kill fast:
FrontPageAfrica reported Thursday that Sawyer may have contracted the virus from his sister, who died at the Catholic Hospital some three weeks ago. Sawyer had told friends that the sister husband had fled the home after the wife died and that he(Patrick) convinced him to report to health authorities to check for signs of Ebola.
Ebola has killed 660 people across Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone since an outbreak in February, straining their flimsy healthcare systems despite international help.
On Thursday, a spokesman for the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva confirmed Nigeria had "one suspect case" and said samples had been sent to a WHO lab for testing.