Once the country’s first Ebola case was confirmed, Port Health Services in Nigeria started a process called contact tracing to limit the spread of the disease and created an emergency operations center to coordinate and oversee the national response.
The group worked with the airport and airlines, triaged any potential cases, and decontaminated the airport as well as areas inhabited by people who might have come into contact with the virus, according to the CDC. Entry and exit screening was also established at ports in Nigeria.
Health officials used a variety of resources, including phone records and flight manifests, to track down nearly 900 people who might have been exposed to the virus via Sawyer or the people he infected. That group was monitored for symptoms for 21 days. Those under observation were required to check in with officials twice a day to provide health updates, according to The Independent.
If someone was showing symptoms or failed to provide an update, that person was checked on.
As soon as people developed symptoms suggestive of Ebola, they were isolated in Ebola treatment facilities. Without waiting to see whether a “suspected” case tested positive, Nigeria’s contact tracing team tracked down everyone who had had contact with that patient since the onset of symptoms.
During this contact tracing process, officials made a staggering 18,500 face-to-face visits.