How the Deadly Ebola Virus Almost Got to the United States

A terrifying story from the Telegraph. The worst Ebola outbreak in history almost came to the US.

An Ebola victim who was allowed to board an international flight was an American citizen on his way home to the United States, it has emerged.


Patrick Sawyer worked for the Liberian government and was visiting his sister there when he developed symptoms while on a plane to Nigeria. He was quarantined on arrival in Lagos and died on Friday.

His wife, Decontee, 34, who like Mr Sawyer is originally from Liberia, currently at the heart of the terrifying Ebola outbreak, said he had been due to travel on to America where he could have become Patient Zero in a US epidemic.

Sawyer apparently contracted Ebola from his sister, but between getting it and his death, he took two flights from Nigeria to Liberia with a stop in Togo.

The Nigerian authorities have closed the hospital he was treated at, First Consultants Hospital in Obalende, one of the busiest parts of the city with a population of around 21 million.

Manifests of the passengers and crew who travelled on the same flights as Mr Sawyer have yet to be released

His job involved promoting trade in West Africa and he was on his way to a conference in Lagos from where he planned to travel back to the US when he fell ill with vomiting and diarrhea.

Ebola’s incubation period is 21 days. Symptoms may not show up during most of that time. Ebola kills about 90% of people infected with it.


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