Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Lagos shut and quarantined the hospital where he died — the first recorded case of the highly infectious disease in Nigeria.
"The private hospital was demobilized [evacuated], and the primary source of infection eliminated. The decontamination process in all the affected areas has commenced," said Jide Idris, health commissioner for Lagos state. He said the hospital would be closed for a week and staff would be closely monitored.
According to the Lagos state Health Ministry, authorities were monitoring 59 people who were in contact with Patrick Sawyer, including at the airport — although the ministry said the airline had yet to provide a passenger list for the flights Sawyer was on.
Derek Gatherer, a virologist at Britain's University of Lancaster, said that anyone on the plane near Sawyer could be in "pretty serious danger" but that Nigeria was better positioned to tackle the outbreak than its neighbors.
"Nigerians have deep pockets, and they can do as much as any Western country could do if they have the motivation and organization to get it done," he said.
Nigeria's largest air carrier, Arik Air, has suspended flights to Liberia and Sierra Leone because of the Ebola risk, said Ola Adebanji, the airline's spokesman, in an email on Monday.
Ebola has killed 672 people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone since it was first diagnosed in February.
The fatality rate of the current outbreak has been about 60 percent, although the disease can kill up to 90 percent of those who catch it.
It is highly contagious, and its symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea and internal and external bleeding.