Published On: Thu, Aug 28th, 2014

Another Nigerian Doctor Died Of Ebola -Says Chukwu

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Nigeria’s Minister of Health, Prof Onyebuchi Chukwu on Thursday disclosed that  another Nigerian doctor has died of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD),  early morning.

The doctor, a staff of ECOWAS Commission, treated one of the primary contacts of the index case, Liberian-American Patrick Sawyer who imported the EVD into Lagos and died on July 25, 2014.

According to the Minister who briefed newsmen in Abuja, the contact evaded surveillance and escaped to Port Harcourt where he approached the doctor for treatment.

Prof Chukwu explained, “This primary contact of Mr. Sawyer’s evaded our surveillance team in the last week of July 2014 and traveled out of Lagos to Port Harcourt where, as we now understand, he consulted with a doctor and was apparently treated for some symptoms.

“After four days, following a manhunt for him, he returned to Lagos by which time he was found to be without symptoms.

Even though presently he does not have EVD but further laboratory tests indicate that he had suffered EVD.

“This case would have been of no further interest since he had completed the 21 days of surveillance without any other issue, but for the fact that the doctor who treated him died last Friday, 22nd August, 2014.

“Following the report of this death by the doctor’s widow the next day, the case had been thoroughly investigated and laboratory analysis showed that this doctor died from EVD.

“As a result, several contacts have now been traced, registered and placed under surveillance. However, because the widow is now symptomatic, she has been quarantined pending the outcome of laboratory tests on her.

“The Incident Management Committee has already deployed a very strong team to Port Harcourt to work with the health authorities of Rivers State.

“Just like the situation has effectively been managed in Lagos and Enugu, the situation in Port Harcourt will also similarly be effectively managed and we have begun to do so,” he said.

Prof Chukwu, said the total number of deaths from Ebola Virus Disease in Nigeria, therefore, is now six, the index case (Mr. Sawyer), the four primary contacts that died in the isolation ward in Lagos, and a doctor that died in Port Harcourt whose blood sample tested positive after death.

Also, seventy persons have been placed under surveillance in Port Harcourt.

The minister called on residents of Port Harcourt not to panic over this situation ”As the experience we have gathered from Lagos and Enugu respectively indicate that there is no cause for alarm when you have the government fully in control of the situation”.

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