Ebola continues to spread in Nigeria

Nigeria has one more confirmed Ebola case, a nurse who was treating the Liberian-American who flew into the country with the disease and died of it last month, the health minister announced Monday.

The nurse tested positive for the Ebola virus over the weekend, Health Minister Onyebuchi Chukwu told reporters in Abuja, the capital. That brings the total number of confirmed Ebola cases in Nigeria to 10, including two who have already died, the Liberian-American Patrick Sawyer and another nurse. The other eight cases are being treated in isolation in Lagos. All nine Nigerians were infected through direct contact with Sawyer, said Chukwu.

Nigerian health officials are working to prevent Ebola from spreading beyond those who had contact with Sawyer. Nigerian authorities have 177 primary and secondary contacts of Sawyer under surveillance, said Chukwu.

Ebola has killed 961 people in Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.

Many infected people are being left to die alone in their villages. In some cases, the bodies of Ebola victims are simply being dumped in the street.

Researchers believe they have now tracked down the start of the virus to a two-year-old boy from a remote village in Guinea, but it wasn’t until March that the mystery disease was identified as Ebola. By then dozens had been infected.

On the front line of the battle to contain the deadly virus sit health workers, who are bearing the brunt of it. Scores have died and a leader of Liberia’s Heath Workers Association George Williams said they are growing increasingly angry.

“If you were to go into the isolation centers right now, you will see the number of our colleagues — health workers — who are now lying in isolation centers or dead from the infectious Ebola virus,” said Williams. “How many have died? Yet we are ready to go out there and fight and yet we go hungry and come back home hungry.”

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Dan Mullin is an active writer and editor for the Pluto Daily who covered the 2014 Ebola Outbreak. Mullin attended the Wake Forest School of Medicine before leaving to pursue his lifelong science goal of allowing humans to live forever via a computer/brain transfer.