Deadly Ebola Virus; 21 Quarantined as the Ebola Virus spreads to Enugu State, Nigeria
A nurse who ignored medical advice not to travel to Enugu on the grounds of having a contact with the late Liberian Patrick Sawyer who brought Ebola Virus to Lagos has caused an apprehension in Enugu, as her decision to travel to Enugu has led to another development.
About 21 persons, including the nurse and her husband have been quarantined in Enugu State, following suspicion that they were infected with Ebola Virus, the federal government said yesterday.
It also noted that about 198 persons suspected to have contacted the deadly Ebola Virus were under the watch list of health specialists.
This came just as the increasing spread of the disease compelled the Chief Physician to the president, Dr. FDP Fiberesima to issue some precautionary measures to workers at the presidential villa.
Information minister, Mr. Labaran Maku, who disclosed this after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting noted that the affected nurse, who had primary contact with the late Patrick Sawyer travelled to Enugu from Lagos against instruction not to leave Lagos State.
He also told State House Correspondents that, out of the 198 persons under surveillance, 177 of them were in Lagos while 21 were in Enugu.
He said, “All those who had primary contact have been quarantined. Secondary contacts have also been traced. So far, the number of people that have been traced is 198. Out of this number, 177 are in Lagos and are being traced. Some are in quarantine, some are being monitored by health specialists. 21 persons in Enugu are also being watched.
“This is because one of the nurses that was involved with the treatment of the index case, unfortunately, disobeyed medical instructions and somehow travelled to Enugu. All those who she was in contact with, including her husband, are under quarantine. The medical team have been to trace all those who made contact with her.
“Health workers are now in all our border units. All the entry points into this country and exit points, we have port health workers that are working in our airports and seaports”.
He said: “In one or two cases where we have had disobedience, we lost one of them and this one now moved with it to another place (Enugu).
So we are urging Nigerians, please to help us in making sure that all these messages and appeals we are making on you, we implement them.
“There is no cure so far, anywhere in the world. Even the trial drug in the US is still a trial drug, its not been established. One of the doctors and research experts that came forward was Dr Simon Agwale, who has been one of the frontline global researchers on developing vaccines for HIV and other viral diseases.
“He also came forward and said he could help, both in terms of working out to develop a vaccine, which he said he has started work on between himself and his fellow experts in the US and he said this is ongoing”.
In a circular he made handy to workers in Aso Rock, Chief Physician to the president, Fiberesima, said the precautionary measures announced by him was in view of the recent outbreak of the Ebola virus disease and certain animals ( bats and monkeys) have been linked with the virus.
He urged then to avoid physical contact with bats and monkeys, whether dead or alive and picking up dead bats and monkeys.
“Immediately notify the public health unit of State House Medical Centre for proper disposal. Avoid using hand contacts to clear droppings (animal faeces) on parked cars. Hand gloves are available at the SHMC on request.
Water hose, vehicles parked under trees (with or without animal droppings on them) properly before washing. Sanitise hands or wash your hands with soap and water as often as possible”, he stated.
He further explained that the measures were purely precautionary in view of the large number of bats and monkeys in the Villa.
Governors avoid handshakes, greet with knuckles
In a related development, President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday summoned the 36 state governors with their Commissioners for Health for an emergency meeting to discuss possible ways to curtail the spread of the Ebola Virus Disease.
But LEADERSHIP observed that when the governors were about to greet themselves in the usual handshake, some of them opted to greet one another with knuckles at the presidential villa.
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