The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris, has confirmed five new Ebola cases in the state.
Dr Idris, who said the Ebola cases were reported to the Yaba Mainland Hospital, however noted that one of the victims has been discharged.
“We have six from the statistics we have, but one person was discharged yesterday”,he said, at a press conference.
The Commissioner noted that “till date, we have recorded eight suspected cases, five of which came in yesterday, 12 confirmed,” said Dr. Idris.
“On the whole, five have died (including the index case). We are currently following up 213 contacts, and 62 have completed the two-day follow-up,” he added.
Dr. Idris paid tributes to the deceased Senior Consultant and Endocrinologist at First Consultant Medical Centre, Obalende, Stella Adadevoh, who passed away on Tuesday after suffering from the virus.
“She, it was, who took the initiative to intimate the Ministry concerning the index case – Liberian-American (Mr. Patrick Sawyer) and substantially to her credit the moderate containment achieved is owed,” said Dr. Idris.
“She led the team who attended to the index case. Her doggedness and commitment to duty saw her personally reviewing the case even though the patient had earlier been seen by a doctor.
“The Ministry of Health commiserates with their families, co-workers, friends and loved ones on these irreparable losses which was on the line of duty,” he added.
Dr. Idris also said that the government’s “vigorous” contact tracing is now shifting from primary to secondary contacts , adding that “the mode of spread remains mainly transmission from an infected person in an infective state and from an infected animal (bat, monkey, etc) to a person”.
Nigerians Should Remain Vigilant
Meanwhile, Dr Idris called on all Nigerians to be vigilant “as human to human transmission is only achieved by physical contact with a person who is acutely and gravely ill (fever being a key sign) from Ebola virus through body fluids such as blood, urine, stool, saliva, breast milk, semen, and vomit.
“Burial ceremonies where mourners including family members have direct contact with patients who died of Ebola have also played a role in the spread and direct contact with dead bodies should be minimized at this period, even as washing and burial/disposal of such bodies should be professionally handled with safety to personal health of handlers being a cardinal focus,” he added.
He also urged Lagos residents not to panic as health personnel are in place to manage the current cases, while efforts are doubled to secure the services of more volunteers to cope with any contingency.
“Certain concerns have been raised regarding those already discharged. I wish to re-assure you that the discharge process was in line with WHO International Health Regulations and they are still being followed up. No recorded carrier state in person that have recovered from the disease has been recorded,” said Dr. Idris.
“I encourage persons who have come in contact with infected persons to report early for treatment as such improves chances of survival.”
WHO Commends Nigeria’s Efforts In Containing Ebola
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has commended efforts made in containing the spread of the Ebola Virus Disease in Nigeria.
A comment posted on their website
said “the situation in Lagos, Nigeria, where the first imported case was detected in July, looks reassuring”.
It further noted that “Intensive contact tracing, conducted by Nigerian health officials and staff from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has not, so far, identified any further confirmed cases outside the initial transmission chain.
“The intensity of the search and monitoring effort raises cautious optimism that further spread of the virus in Nigeria can be stopped. The search for additional cases continues, as does the current high level of vigilance”,
“At present, the city’s 12 confirmed cases are all part of a single chain of transmission”, it said.