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Ebola is 'contained' in Nigeria: Health minister

Nigeria's health minister has insisted the Ebola outbreak has been contained in the country, and said it was working hard with its African neighbors to fight the disease.

Speaking to CNBC on Tuesday, Onyebuchi Chukwu said there was currently only one confirmed case of the disease in the country.

"(Ebola) limited it to one city, Lagos. All the cases so far have occurred in Lagos," Chukwu said. "Nigeria has contained the disease, but that is not to say that we have cured it."

He added that a meeting of the Economic Community Of West African States focused on the Ebola was underway.

A pharmacist searches for drugs in a pharmacy in Lagos, Nigeria, July 26, 2014.
Pius Utomi Ekpei | AFP | Getty Images
A pharmacist searches for drugs in a pharmacy in Lagos, Nigeria, July 26, 2014.

In total, the World Health Organization (WHO) has reported 16 cases of Ebola in Nigeria and five deaths since the first case was detected in July. It has previously praised the intensity of Nigeria's search and monitoring efforts of further cases.

Overall, 1,427 people across Nigeria, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone have died of the viral disease as of August 2014, according to the WHO, while 2,615 cases have been reported in the region.

By comparison, the "Swine" flu pandemic of 2009-10 killed over 16,000 people.

This Sunday, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) confirmed an outbreak of Ebola in the remote village of Boende—about 1,200 kilometers from the country's capital. The DRC's health ministry said this outbreak was unlinked to the one in West Africa and was a different strain of the disease.

There is no known cure for the illness, which in previous epidemics killed around 90 percent of sufferers. The current outbreak has a 53 percent death rate, the WHO said.

Ebola is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads through human-to-human transmission. Victims often suffer a sudden fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat. This is followed by vomiting, diarrhea, rash, impaired kidney and liver function, and in some cases, both internal and external bleeding.

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