Patrick Sawyer, the Liberian credited with importing Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) to Nigeria, contracted it when he travelled to Liberia for his sister’s burial.
According to The Daily Mail, Sawyer was returning to Nigeria after attending the funeral of his sister who died of the disease two weeks earlier, after which her husband fled from home.
He collapsed at Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos on Sunday July 20, and was hospitalised at First Consultant Medical Centre, Obalende, Lagos. However, on Thursday, he died.
Since 1976 when the first Ebola case was recorded, the highest death toll from outbreaks of the disease was 280. However, since February, the disease has killed nearly 700 people across the West African nations of Sierra Leone, Ghana, and Liberia, sparking fears of an international outbreak.
Those fears have been further heightened by the increasing Ebola infection of doctors treating victims of the disease.
Last week, it emerged that 39-year-old Sheik Umar Khan, the most senior of the Sierra Leonean doctors treating dozens of Ebola patients, had himself contracted the disease — despite his reputation for strict adherence to protection regimes.
Three days earlier, three nurses working at the same Ebola treatment centre died of the disease.
On Sunday July 27, it was also discovered that Kent Brantly, an American doctor who relocated to Liberia to work for a local charity in the quest to contain the disease, had been infected.
Brantly became the second American doctor to be infected, after Nancy Writebol suffered a similar fate.
More than 1,000 West Africans are believed to be currently infected with the virus.