Nigeria on red alert after Ebola death confirmed

Restrictions at Nigerian airports, seaports and land borders

Nigeria has put all its borders and airports on red alert in a bid to halt the spread of Ebola, after Nigeria's first recorded death of the deadly virus was confirmed in Lagos on 28 July.

Nigerian airports are screening passengers arriving from abroad for the highly contagious disease whose early symptoms include fever, a sore throat and difficulty breathing. The country's Arik Air carrier has suspended all flights to nearby Liberia and Sierra Leone in west Africa where Ebola has killed around 670 people since February.

The incubation period for the Ebola virus disease is from two days to three weeks and according to the description on the World Health Organisation (WHO) website it is fatal in 90 per cent of cases.

The shut-down follows the death of Nigeria's first Ebola victim, a Liberian man, whose sister is believed to have died of the virus. He collapsed on arrival in Lagos airport on 20 July, dying a week later.

The private hospital in which he died, on Lagos Island, has been evacuated, isolated and is being decontaminated.

The WHO is currently attempting to track down the victim's fellow passengers on the airplane which stopped off in nearby Togo before landing in Lagos.

The outbreak of the disease is the world's most widespread so far. It began in southern Guinea – where it now appears to have stabilised – before spreading to neighbouring Liberia and Sierra Leone where the virus is claiming an increasing amount of casualties.

The Lagos state health ministry has issued precautionary measures to prevent the disease but the situation is exacerbated by Nigerian doctors on strike for the last month seeking better pay and working conditions.

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