Number of Ebola cases rises in Lagos



15 of the 19 Nigerian cases are in Lagos

Health authorities in Nigeria say that another Lagos resident tested positive for Ebola but has since been cured, bringing the amount of confirmed cases in the city up to 15.

The announcement, made by Nigerian health minister Onyebuchi Chukwu, comes more than six weeks since the first case of the deadly virus in Lagos. Chukwu said that the latest confirmed case concerned a person who had secondary contact with Patrick Sawyer, the Liberian-American man who introduced Ebola to Nigeria from Liberia at the end of July.

The health ministry also said that the First Consultants Medical Centre on Lagos Island which treated Sawyer is officially decontaminated and free to reopen after being closed for six weeks.

There are still 27 Lagos residents under surveillance after around 340 were released following a mandatory three-week observation period, while four people have tested positive in Port Harcourt, a month after the virus was first detected in the coastal city located 450 km south-east of Lagos.

The Ebola outbreak in west Africa is the world's most widespread so far and has killed at least 2,100 people in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria, and has also spread to Senegal. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that it could take six to nine months to stop the virus from spreading further.