Via the Wall Street Journal: Ebola's Threat Forced Nigeria's Lagos to Scramble. Excerpt:
Doctors in Lagos, Nigeria, were on strike July 20, the day a man infected with Ebola landed at a packed airport in Africa's biggest city.
In a few days a Muslim holiday would send health workers on a break and millions of ordinary people crowding into buses and planes. The city's health commission was out of thermometers, said Health Commissioner Jide Idris.
It could have been a nightmare, but a chaotic overpopulated city showed how some organization and creative hustle can tamp down the threat of one of the world's deadliest viruses.
While nearby nations Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone have been struggling to tame an Ebola outbreak that has killed 729 people this year, Nigerian officials crash-trained lab technicians and civil servants on how to enter a house and check for the virus. In four days, they turned an abandoned government building into an isolation unit.
In a week they managed to find and cold-call scores of people from blue-collar workers to diplomats who may have touched Patrick Sawyer, the Liberian-American passenger whose landing in Lagos could have sparked an outbreak in a city of as many as 21 million people.
Lagos also got lucky: Mr. Sawyer, a consultant at the Liberian Finance Ministry, collapsed on arrival in the city and was put in isolation at a hospital.
Had he spent even a few hours outside the airport, he might have spread his illness to exponentially more people, many of them impossible to trace in the city's endless sprawl of tin-roof shacks and walk-up apartments.