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(Reuters) - Sierra Leone officials appealed for help on Friday to trace the first known resident in the capital with Ebola whose family forcibly removed her from a Freetown hospital after testing positive for the deadly disease.Radio stations in Freetown, a city of around 1 million inhabitants, broadcast the appeal on Friday to locate a woman who tested positive for the disease that has killed 660 people across Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone since an outbreak was first identified in February."Saudatu Koroma of 25 Old Railway Line, Brima Lane, Wellington," the announcement said. "She is a positive case and her being out there is a risk to all. We need the public to help us locate her."Koroma, 32, a resident of the densely populated Wellington neighborhood, had been admitted to an isolation ward while blood samples were tested for the virus, Health ministry spokesman Sidi Yahya Tunis. The results came back on Thursday."The family of the patient stormed the hospital and forcefully removed her and took her away," Tunis said. "We are searching for her."Fighting one of the world's deadliest diseases is straining the region's weak health systems, while a lack of information and suspicion of medical staff has led many to shun treatment.DOZENS UNACCOUNTED FOREarlier this year, a man in Freetown tested positive for Ebola although he is believed to have caught it elsewhere.According to health ministry data and officials, dozens of people confirmed by laboratory tests to have Ebola are now unaccounted for in Sierra Leone, where the majority of cases have been recorded in the country's east.While international medical organizations have deployed experts to the field in an attempt to contain the outbreak, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said poor health infrastructure and a lack of manpower were hindering their efforts.
The Ebola virus that has already killed 660 people across West Africa has spread to Nigeria after a Liberian man boarded a plane to the country, the most populous in the continent.He managed to board the flight despite of having a high fever. Once on the plane he vomited, before dying in Nigeria.Upon arrival in the country’s capital Lagos - a megacity home to 21 million people - the 40-year-old had been moved to an isolation ward.Believed to be a government official with the finance ministry, he had recently lost his sister to Ebola in Liberia, health officials there said. Authorities are now investigating anyone who may have come into contact with him.Nigerian health minister Onyebuchi Chukwu said it was the first case of Ebola to be confirmed in Nigeria since the start of the current outbreak in the region. The disease has already hit Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, infecting 1,093.
(Reuters) - A Sierra Leone Ebola patient whose family sparked a nationwide hunt when they forcefully removed her from a treatment center and took her to a traditional healer, died in an ambulance on the way to hospital, a health official said.Health officials say fear and mistrust of health workers in Sierra Leone, where many have more faith in traditional medicine, are hindering efforts to contain an Ebola outbreak which has killed more than 450 people in the country.In recent days crowds gathered outside clinics and hospitals to protest against what they see as a conspiracy, in some cases clashing with police as they threatened to burn down the buildings and remove the patients.Amadu Sisi, a senior doctor at King Harman hospital in the capital Freetown, from which the patient was taken, said on Saturday that police found her in the house of a healer.Her family refused to hand her over and a struggle ensued with police, who finally retrieved her and sent her to hospital, he said.