Ebola: Senate Asks FG To Strengthen Port Health Services

SenateThe Nigerian Senate has urged the Executive Arm of government to strengthen Port Health Services in all entry ports across the nation to check the spread of Ebola to Nigeria.

At a plenary held on Wednesday just as the Senate resumed from recess, the Senate arrived at this resolution after debating a motion on the Ebola Virus Disease in Nigeria sponsored by 180 senators.

The Senate is also urging the African Union and the Economic Community Of West African States to create a regional and continental containment programme to curb the spread of the disease.

While commending the efforts of the President and State governments, most of the lawmakers urged the Federal Government to immortalise the heroes and heroines, especially Dr. Ameyo Adadevoh, who lost their lives in their service to their fatherland and humanity.

Dr. Adadevoh died days after treating the first Ebola patient at a Specialist Hospital in Lagos.

Mr Patrick Sawyer, a Liberian-American man, who brought Ebola to Nigeria in July died on July 25. After his death, some six other persons that had primary and secondary contacts with him also lost their lives to the disease.

Nigeria had contained the Ebola Virus Disease but the Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, had stressed the need for all Nigerians to practice good health hygiene as the presence of the virus in other West African countries poses health risk on Nigeria.

But the Senate’s demand for improved health services in entry ports is aimed at forestalling the possibility of an Ebola patient coming into Nigeria again.


Minister Tells FEC ‘Nigeria Will Be Free From Ebola Soon’

Ebola Health Workers.The Federal Executive Council was on Wednesday told that Nigeria will soon be free from the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) scourge.

The Minister of Health Dr Onyebuchi Chukwu, who gave the council an update on the containment of the disease, said that Nigeria was having a final turnaround on Ebola, as no Nigeria was suffering from the disease.

Reeling out the statistics, Dr Chukwu said that only 19 cases was recorded so far since the the beak out of the virus and that there was no fresh case of EVD.

According to him, the total number of cases so far treated and discharged stands at 10, the last two cases being the sister of the Port Harcourt doctor who died. Seven deaths were recorded. .

The wife of the doctor has also been discharged, leaving the Lagos isolation ward empty.

The Minister told Nigerians to desist from rumour, but report any suspected case to the appropriate quarters.

On the controversy over the resumption of schools, the Minister said that it was irrational to shut down schools for so long, as there was no community outbreak of the disease.

Ebola: Port Harcourt Doctor’s Sister Discharged From Isolation

EbolaThe sister of the first victim of Ebola virus disease in Port Harcourt, Dr. Iyke Samuel Enemuo, Chinyere, who also tested positive to the virus, has been discharged from the isolation centre, Oduoha – Emohua.

Rivers State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Sampson Parker, disclosed this to journalists in Port Harcourt on Monday morning.

He said that Chinyere has been successfully managed and is now negative and immune to the Ebola virus.

A primary contact of index case, Mr. Patrick Sawyer and also an ECOWAS official, had evaded surveillance in the last week of July 2014 and travelled out of Lagos to Port Harcourt where he consulted with the late Dr. Enemuo and was allegedly secretly treated for some symptoms.

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

However, Dr Enemuo died after some days, with investigation and laboratory analysis showing that he died from EVD which he must have contracted during the secluded treatment.

As a result, several contacts have been traced, registered and placed under surveillance, including his sister, Chinyere, who has now been successfully managed and discharged.


Ebola: 160 Persons Under Observation In Rivers State

EbolaAt least 160 persons that made contact with a doctor that died of Ebola disease, Iyke Enomoah, have been identified and put under observation.

The Rivers State Commissioner of Health, Sampson Parker, told a press conference at the state’s ministry secretariat in Port Harcourt on Friday that the persons had shown no signs of the Ebola disease.

He, however, said that the persons were strictly under watch.

The commissioner told the reporters that the baby of the wife of the late health worker, who has since been quarantined, was in good health.

“Rivers State now has a mobile testing unit for testing blood samples for the virus. A national Ebola response team has been set up headed by the Minister of Health, Professor Oyenbuchi Chukwu,” Mr Parker said, dispelling rumours that the state was not working with the Federal Government in tackling the spread of the disease.

He also stated that all places identified to have been visited by late Dr Iyke after he met with the ECOWAS diplomat, known as Oluibukun Koye, were being decontaminated as part of measures to contain the spread of the disease.

The late doctor’s residence, the Green Heart hospital, where he was treated and the morgue, where his body was kept, were part of the places being decontaminated.

The Ebola Virus Disease has killed five persons in Nigeria, with five of the deaths occurring in Lagos State, where the first case of the disease was recorded.

A Liberian-American man, Patrick Sawyer, who brought the virus to Nigeria died on July 25 in Lagos.

Since the outbreak of the disease in West Africa, at least 1,500 deaths have been recorded.


Nigeria Is Not Free Of Ebola Yet – FG

Professor Onyebuchi ChukwuThe Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, has cautioned that Nigerians should not be carried away with the euphoria of the successful containment of the Ebola Virus Disease.

Professor Chukwu said on tuesday in Abuja, after the Federal Executive Council meeting on Wednesday that “the risk of transmission still exists as long as there is still Ebola Virus disease in West Africa”.

“I don’t want Nigerians to panic but I don’t want us to be carried away with euphoria because if we still have one case of Ebola Virus Disease, it is an emergency because the World Health Organization defines Ebola epidemic as when one person is infected with the disease. We have to be cautious as long as there is still a victim in the country,” the Health Minister added.

According to the Health Minister, 13 cases have been reported so far, out of which five persons died while seven had been managed successfully and discharged, leaving Nigeria with only one case.

He told reporters on Tuesday that the patient, who is a spouse to one of the health workers that attended to the index patient, Patrick Sawyer, was responding to treatment.



Nigeria Has Reduced Number Of Ebola Cases To One – Minister

Ebola_healthworkersNigeria has successfully reduced the number of Ebola cases to one, the Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, said on Tuesday.

At a press conference in Abuja, Professor Chukwu said that only one Ebola patient remained in isolation in Nigeria, down from the 13 cases confirmed since the outbreak of the virus in July.

The deadly virus was first brought to Nigeria by a Liberian-American man, Patrick Sawyer who died on July 25.

After Mr Sawyer’s death, health workers who treated him tested positive.

Professor Chukwu said: “So far Nigeria has had 13 cases including the index case”.

“Five of those infected, including Mr Sawyer died, while seven have successfully recovered and were discharged.

“Two of the nurses who managed Mr Sawyer were discharged on Monday at the isolation centre in Lagos,” Professor Chukwu said.

He said Nigeria had been able to contain the Ebola Virus Disease, with the reduced number of cases.

According to him, All the 129 people, who were under surveillance, have completed the 21-day observation incubation period and only one person was found to be symptomatic and is still being observed.

He said that the patient a female,  is a secondary contact of the index case.

Professor Chukwu, however, debunked reports that a sister of the late medical doctor, Ameyo Adadevoh was infected with the virus.

Meanwhile, out of the 257 under surveillance, 139 have completed their incubation period,without any trace of the disease in them.

Another 138 persons are still under surveillance.

The government has appealed to citizens not to be relaxed despite the successes recorded so far.


Ebola: Government Stops Côte d’Ivoire From Hosting Qualifier

Cote_DIvoireCôte d’Ivoire will not be allowed to host their African Nations Cup qualifier next week against Sierra Leone in Abidjan because of fears over the Ebola virus, the country’s football federation said on Tuesday.

The Côte d’Ivoire government has told the football federation it would not allow the match to take place because all travel between the two countries had been banned.

“The authorities are taking no chances against a possible Ebola outbreak,” media officer, Eric Kacou, told reporters.

The move followed Congo’s demand that their scheduled qualifier in Nigeria next weekend be moved to a neutral venue because they are reluctant to travel to a country where there have also been deaths from the deadly virus.

Nigeria and Sierra Leone are among the countries affected by the hemorrhagic fever that has killed at least 1,427 people in the deadliest outbreak of the disease to date.

Sierra Leone and Guinea, another country where there have been over 300 fatalities, have been ordered by the Confederation of African Football to move their home qualifiers to neutral venues but the Côte d’Ivoire ban is the first time a government has told its own team it cannot play at home.

Côte d’Ivoire are scheduled to host Sierra Leone on September 6 in a Group D qualifier but must now scramble to find a new venue.

Sierra Leone have similar problems, as they battle to find a country willing to allow them to host their second game in the group, against the Democratic Republic of Congo on September 10.

Guinea have moved their Group E opener against Togo on September 6 to Casablanca in Morocco.

Nigeria, where there have been five reported deaths because of the Ebola virus, are still on course to host their opening Group A match against Congo on September 6 but the Congo Football Federation has written to CAF to ask for it to be moved to a neutral venue.

“We feel it is difficult to take our players to that region. Cameroon have closed their border with Nigeria because of the outbreak which goes to show the severity of the situation,” said Congo coach Claude Le Roy.

Nations Cup qualifiers start on September 5-6 with a second round of games on September 10 as the group phase of the preliminaries for the finals in Morocco next year gets underway.

Ebola: FG Says Number OF Confirmed Cases Are 13

Minister_of_Health_Professor_Onyebuchi_ChukwuThe Federal Government on Monday reversed the number of confirmed Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) cases in Nigeria from 14 to 13.

The Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, reeled out the information at a briefing in Abuja on Monday.

This development, according to Professor Chukwu, followed the outcome of a further confirmation test conducted on the 14th case, which later turned out to be negative and was promptly discharged.

He added that another patient in the isolation centre after receiving intensive treatment had tested negative and would be discharged before Wednesday.

He said: “This will now bring to two, the number of patients in the isolation ward from the initial four”.

The Minister also clarified that the number of deaths recorded so far in the country as a result of the disease still remained five, including the Late Patrick Sawyer who imported the EVD to Nigeria from Liberia.Ebola

“We have been able to manage and discharge five persons who had tested positive to the deadly virus, while the sixth person would be discharged within the next 48 hours.

“For each case that tested negative, we run further confirmatory tests to make sure that anybody that is labelled as EVD victim, is truly having the disease,” Professor Chukwu said.

“The 14th case has turned out to be negative in terms of anaemia and symptoms, so that has now reversed number of EVD cases in Nigeria from 14 to 13 and that includes the index case (Sawyer).

“As at today, we have three patients receiving treatments in the isolation ward in Lagos but certainly, before Wednesday, one of them would be discharged because he has tested negative and we are now concluding his discharge process.”

ZMapp Fails To Save Liberian Doctor


A  doctor has died in Liberia despite taking the experimental anti-Ebola drug, ZMapp, a government official said on Monday.

Abraham Borbor was one of three doctors in Liberia who had been given the drug and were showing signs of recovery.

ZMapp has been credited with helping several patients recover, including two US doctors discharged last week.

More than 1,400 people have died from Ebola this year in four West African countries – Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.  Several doctors and health workers are among the dead.

Ebola is spread between humans through direct contact with infected body fluids.

It is one of the world’s deadliest diseases, with up to 90% of cases resulting in death, although in the current outbreak the rate is about 55%.

The speed and extent of the outbreak was “unprecedented”, the World Health Organization (WHO) said last week. To help tackle the spread of the disease, the WHO gave an approval for the use of untested drugs in the treatment of patients.

An estimated 2,615 people in West Africa have been infected with Ebola since March.

On Saturday, Sierra Leone’s parliament passed a new law making it a criminal offence to hide Ebola patients.

If approved by the President, those caught face up to two years in prison.

Ebola: U.S. Hospital Discharge Doctor Treated With Experimental Drug

Experimental DrugThe two US aid workers infected with the Ebola virus in Liberia have recovered and have been discharged from hospital.

Dr. Kent Brantly, 33, thanked supporters for their prayers at a news conference in Atlanta.

Nancy Writebol, 59, was discharged on Tuesday.

The two were taken to the US for treatment three weeks ago.

“Today is a miraculous day,” said Dr Brantly, who appeared healthy, although pallid, as he addressed reporters on Thursday at Emory University Hospital.

“I am thrilled to be alive, to be well, and to be reunited with my family. As a medical missionary, I never imagined myself in this position.”

He said Ebola “was not on the radar” when he and his family moved to Liberia in October.

After his family returned to the US as the Ebola outbreak tore through West Africa, he continued to treat Ebola patients and woke up on July 23 feeling “under the weather”.

Dr. Brantly said that he was in bed for nine days, getting progressively sicker and weaker. On August 1, he was flown to Atlanta for treatment at Emory.

Emory Infectious Disease Specialist, Dr Bruce Ribner, said that after rigorous treatment and testing, officials were confident Dr. Brantly had recovered “and he can return to his family, his community and his life without public health concerns”.

The group for which he was working in Liberia, Samaritan’s Purse, said that they were celebrating his recovery.

“Today I join all of our Samaritan’s Purse team around the world in giving thanks to God as we celebrate Dr Kent Brantly’s recovery from Ebola and release from the hospital,” Franklin Graham said in a statement.

Nancy Writebol’s husband, David, said in a statement that she was free of the virus but was significantly weakened.

The family decided to leave the hospital privately in order to allow her to rest and recuperate.

Meanwhile, South Africa, on Thursday, said that non-citizens arriving from Ebola-affected areas of West Africa – the countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone – would not be allowed into the country.

There is no cure for Ebola, one of the deadliest diseases known to humans, with a fatality rate of 50-60%.

Both Dr. Brantly and Mrs Writebol received an experimental drug known as ZMapp. The drug, which has only been made in extremely limited qualities, had never been tested on humans and it remained unclear if it was responsible for their recovery.

ZMapp was also given to a Spanish priest, who died, and three Liberian health workers, who are showing signs of improvement.

The outbreak has killed more than 1,300 people in West Africa, with many of the deaths occurring in Liberia.

Ebola-Hit Countries Must Screen All Departing Travellers – WHO

The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday that authorities in countries affected by Ebola should check people departing at international airports, seaports and major border crossings and stop anyone with signs of the virus from travelling.

The U.N. health agency reiterated that the risk of getting infected with Ebola on an aircraft was small, as infected people are usually too ill to travel, and said that the risk is also very low to travellers in affected countries, namely Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.

There was no need for wider travel or trade restrictions, the WHO said in a statement.

“Affected countries are requested to conduct exit screening of all persons at international airports, seaports and major land crossings, for unexplained febrile illness consistent with potential Ebola infection.

Any person with an illness consistent with EVD (Ebola Virus Disease) should not be allowed to travel unless the travel is part of an appropriate medical evacuation.

If a traveller has stayed in areas where Ebola cases have been reported recently, he or she should seek medical care at the first sign of illness – fever, headache, sore throat, diarrhoea, vomiting, among other symptoms,” the WHO said, noting that “early treatment can improve prognosis.”

Countries that do not have Ebola cases must strengthen their capacity to detect and contain any cases immediately, the WHO said, but it did not recommend any active screening of arriving passengers.

“It is better if countries do screening on the front-end,” WHO spokesman, Gregory Hartl, said.

Nigerian Woman Suspected Of Ebola Dies In UAE


The national airline of the United Arab Emirates, Etihad Airways, said on Monday that it has disinfected one of its planes after health authorities there announced that a Nigerian woman who died after flying in to the capital, Abu Dhabi, may have been infected with the Ebola virus.

The health authority in Abu Dhabi said in a statement carried by state news agency, WAM, that the 35-year-old woman was traveling from Nigeria to India for treatment of advanced metastatic cancer.

Her health was said to have deteriorated while in transit at Abu Dhabi International Airport. The statement added that as medics were trying to resuscitate her, they found signs that suggested a possible Ebola virus infection.

The health authority noted, however, that her preexisting medical condition also could have explained her death.

The health authority statement added that medical staff treating the woman followed safety and precautionary measures in line with World Health Organization guidelines.

The woman’s husband, who was the only person sitting next to her on the plane, as well as five medics who treated her, are being isolated pending test results on the deceased woman.

All are in good health and show no symptoms of the illness, according to health officials.

Etihad Airways, the UAE’s national carrier, said that the plane was disinfected in line with guidelines laid out by the airline industry’s main trade group.

It said it continues to monitor the situation and is working with health authorities “to ensure the implementation of any and all measures necessary to ensure the safety and well-being of its passengers and staff.”