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Ebola: Nigeria commences airport screening as West Africa death toll hits 729

Ebola: Nigeria commences airport screening as West Africa death toll hits 729
July 31
15:58 2014
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The World Health Organisation (WHO) says 729 people have died since the outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa.

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has started “temperature screening” of passengers at key international airports across Nigeria.

Between July 24 and 27 ─ a spate of four days ─ 57 deaths were recorded in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, according to WHO.

All the 59 people who made contact with the Liberian-American, Patrick Sawyer, who died in Lagos last week have been given all-clear from the virus.

Asky airline, which flew Sawyer into Lagos, has been suspended from flying into Nigeria until it can prove that it has measures in place to screen passengers.

“Screening and monitoring is being done at all major international airports. It entails checking passengers’ temperatures with a hand-held machine,” NCAA spokesman Sam Adurogboye said, adding this meant for any journey that passed through Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone.

Reuters quoted him as saying a compulsory blood test would follow if the passenger’s temperature gave cause for concern.

International airlines association IATA said the WHO was not recommending any travel restrictions or border closures due to the outbreak, and says there would be a “low risk” to other passengers if an Ebola patient flew.

Arik Air has, on its own, already imposed suspension of all flights to Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The latest outbreak of the hemorrhagic fever began in the forests of remote eastern Guinea in February.

It starts with headaches and fever, and final stage symptoms include external and internal bleeding, vomiting and diarrhoea.

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