Patrick Sawyer: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

A Minnesota father of three fueled fears of a worldwide Ebola outbreak when he flew into Africa’s most populous city while infected with the deadly virus.

Patrick Sawyer, who was weeks away from returning home and potentially spreading the disease to America, is the first American killed in the current Ebola outbreak that is rocking West Africa. Sawyer, 40, was employed by the Liberian government as an economic consultant promoting development in West Africa. He died on Friday.

Here is what you need to know:

1. He Flew, Infected, Into a City of 21 Million People

Sawyer had just flown from his job with the Liberian finance ministry to sprawling mega-city of Lagos, Nigeria, when he collapsed in the airport on July 20.

According to Reuters, he was put in isolation at the First Consultants Hospital until he died on Friday, July 25.

His eventual diagnosis sparked fear that the illness could have been spread in the massive Nigerian city of 21 million people.

In the video above, you can hear Professor Sunday Omilabu discuss Sawyer’s condition, the contraction of the disease, and the risk it poses to Lagos.

2. His Wife Says He Could Have Spread Ebola to America

Minnesota’s Pioneer Press reports that Sawyer and his wife, Decontee, are Nigerian natives and American citizens who were married in Coon Rapids, Minnesota, in 2008.

According to Decontee Sawyer, her husband was planning trip back to the United States within the next month to visit their three children.

She told the Pioneer Press:

Patrick was coming here. What if he still wasn’t displaying symptoms yet and came? He could have brought Ebola here. Someone else could bring Ebola here.

3. He Got the Illness While Caring for His Sick Sister

ebola in nigeria


Before leaving for the conference in Nigeria, Sawyer had been caring for his sick sister, who had an undiagnosed case of Ebola.

Ebola is a highly contagious disease that can be spread via contact with blood or bodily fluids, which can especially dangerous since the disease causes external and internal bleeding.

Reuters reports that Nigerian authorities are monitoring 59 people who may have come into contact with Sawyer during his trip.

Ebola Outbreak: Americans Now Infected, Top Doctor Dies

Two American health workers have become ill with the Ebola virus.

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4. The Ebola Outbreak Has Killed More Than 600 People



Since the outbreak began in March, Ebola has killed more than 670 people in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, reports Fox.

Reuters reports that the disease currently has a 60 percent mortality rate but has been known to kill up to 90 percent of those infected. Common symptoms of the illness are vomiting, diarrhea and bleeding, both internal and external.

5. American Doctor Kent Brantly Also Contracted Ebola



This week, the Associated Press confirmed that 33-year-old American doctor Kent Brantly had contracted the disease after treating Ebola patients in Liberia. In addition, American missionary Nancy Writebol has been infected while working for the same charity as Brantly.

After plans to evacuate him to Europe for treatment were rejected over contagion concerns, Brantly was placed in an isolation unit outside the capital of Liberia, where he is reportedly in grave condition.

Dr. Kent Brantly: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

A doctor from Texas, who moved to Liberia to help treat ebola patients, has contracted the deadly disease himself. Dr. Kent Brantly is just one of several health workers in Western Africa who have contracted ebola after working with patients in isolation. There is no cure for the disease.

Click here to read more

Nancy & David Writebol: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Nancy Writebol is the second U.S. citizen to be diagnosed with ebola in Liberia. She and her husband, David, left for Liberia in August as missionaries with the Christian group, SIM. There is no cure for ebola.

Click here to read more

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  1. Please read all of the articles regarding Mr. Sawyer on He exposed hundreds selfishly to Ebola. His sister cared for her boyfriend, Dr. Sam, who died from Ebola. She contracted it. Mr. Sawyer took her to a hospital pretending she was having a miscarriage, not Ebola, the Director of the Hospital and Doctor who performed D&C now possibly infected. He refused to have her quarantined and was reckless with body fluids. Possibly one or two that assisted him off the the A/C are now infected and may have died. Mr. Sawyer had knowledge of his exposure to Ebola, yet blatantly spread it to all in his vicinity.