A Nigerian nurse suspected of having Ebola managed to skip quarantine in Lagos to travel nearly 300 miles to see family, officials said Wednesday.
She and the 20 people she came into contact with are now under surveillance in the city of Enugu in southeastern Nigeria. Information Minister Labaran Maku said officials are now monitoring 189 people for the Ebola virus. Nigerian officials did not make it clear how the nurse traveled, but Enugu is a 6 1/2-hour drive or one-hour flight from Lagos.
Nigeria currently has 10 confirmed cases of Ebola, all stemming from the trip of an infected Liberian-American, Patrick Sawyer, to Africa’s most populous nation on July 20. Sawyer fell ill and collapsed in the Lagos airport. He died at a city hospital five days later and two health care workers who treated him later died.
The death toll stands at 1,069 as of Monday, Aug. 11, according to the World Health Organization. Liberia was hit extremely hard this week, with 71 cases and 32 deaths from Sunday to Monday. Fifty-six deaths and 128 new cases were reported in that same period across all four West Africa countries affected by the virus.