By Sola Ogundipe, Chioma Obinna, Olasunkanmi Akoni, Luka Binniyat, Caleb Ayansina, Jimitota Onoyume & Gabriel Olawale
LAGOS — The first confirmed Ebola Virus Disease, EVD, case that was also one of the three persons quarantined in Oduoha, Emohua Local Government Area, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, has died of the disease.
The deceased, an elderly woman, is the seventh Ebola fatality to be recorded in the country, and the
First death She was said to have shared the same room with late Dr. Iyke Enemuo, the doctor who treated the Nigerian ECOWAS diplomat, Koye Olu-Ibukun at the Good Heart Hospital, Port Harcourt, prior to the death of the former from EVD.
It could be recalled that the late woman was quarantined with a doctor and a pharmacist, who were staff of Sam Steel Clinic, a health facility founded by late Enemuo.
However, following several tests ran on the duo, it was discovered that they were free from Ebola and were given a clean bill of health. Though reports say they were still under medical surveillance.
Presenting an update on the status of EVD, in Nigeria, Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, disclosed that the eighth Ebola patient successfully managed in the Lagos isolation centre was discharged Tuesday.
Chukwu, who gave the number of cases successfully managed and discharged in the country as eight, explained that the last case to be discharged, (the eighth case) was the first secondary contact to be diagnosed, adding that the patient is a spouse of a primary contact of the index (first) case.
He said: “Total number of cases successfully managed and discharged is now eight. The last case to be discharged, the first secondary contact to be diagnosed and a spouse of a primary contact of the index case, went home from the isolation ward in Lagos yesterday (Tuesday). The ninth survivor is the ECOWAS Commission official who jumped surveillance in Lagos and travelled to Port Harcourt where he infected the doctor who attended to him.”
Chukwu who hinted that schools may re-open from September 15, 2014 as last contacts under surveillance may be discharged by then and the fact that there were no community transmissions in Nigeria, stressed that the 18th confirmed case of Ebola in Nigeria is the sister of the late Port Harcourt doctor, who is currently on admission in the Lagos isolation centre.
He said: “Total number of deaths from Ebola Virus Disease in Nigeria is now seven. One is the index (first) case, which occurred in a private hospital in Lagos; four in the Lagos isolation ward, one in the Port Harcourt isolation ward, the female patient who was on admission in the same hospital where the late Port Harcourt doctor was also admitted, while another one was the doctor who was infected by the ECOWAS Commission official in Port Harcourt and who did not come under the care and management of the Incident Management Committee.”
The total number of EVD patients currently under treatment, according to the Minister, is two; one in the Lagos isolation ward and another one in the Port Harcourt isolation ward.
On contacts, Chukwu said 41 contacts are currently under surveillance in Lagos while Port Harcourt has 296.
On the positive side, the minister also revealed that a total of 320 contacts have been discharged in Lagos after they were observed for 21 days.
No Ebola cases outside Lagos, P/Harcourt
He, however, debunked rumours of EVD cases outside Lagos and Port Harcourt.
His words: “These include the three reported cases in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, and one case in Calabar.”
The minister also dispelled reports that the body of the late Port Harcourt doctor was transported to Edo or Delta State, saying the body has been decontaminated and will be interred in Port Harcourt.
On the rumoured case in Zaria, he said the blood sample has been sent for Ebola testing and result is being awaited.
Disquiet as Kaduna awaits test result of suspected Ebola victim
In Kaduna, the entire state was gripped by anxiety yesterday as result of the test on its first suspected Ebola victim was being awaited.
The issue of the disease was the major focus of public discourse with many praying hard that the result turns negative.
Our correspondent who was at the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Shika, a community on the outskirts of Zaria Town, saw security operatives guarding the patient at his isolated ward. He was isolated in one of the private wards of the hospital, and no person was allowed near him except medical staff attending him.
In a reaction, Kaduna State Deputy Governor, Ambassador Nuhu Bajoga, who is Chairman, Kaduna State Ebola Prevention and Control Committee, told Vanguard that information available to him was yet to confirm that the condition of the 19-year-old Law undergraduate of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria,