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Published On: Thu, Aug 28th, 2014

Ebola: New death recorded in Port Harcourt

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…70 under surveillance

By Doyin Ojosipe The death of another doctor, infected of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) was today reported by the Minister of health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu. According to the Minister, the doctor, who reside in Port Harcourt  had  treated a primary contact of the index case of Ebola outbreak in Nigeria. It will be recalled that the Minster raised an alarm early this month, that some secondary contacts under surveillance had evaded check-up and travelled to other cities of the country; a development which might slow the pace of success in tackling the alien disease. Prof. Chukwu said the primary contact was one of those who evaded surveillance and travelled to the nation’s oil city, where he fell ill and was treated by the doctor, who got infected and died on the 22nd of August. Chukwu further explained that, the contact had received instant treatment and recovered quickly, and returned to Lagos, where he was found symptoms free, until this period when the death of the doctor that treated him has alerted on the danger posed by that contact. “This primary contact of Mr. Sawyer’s evaded our surveillance team in the last week of July 2014 and travelled 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. 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″, the Minister said. He explained that the doctors’ widow had reported the case of his death, while tests carried out on his death had confirmed, he actually died of the disease. He said, “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 (Ebola Virus Disease).” The Minister also confirmed that the doctor’s widow has been quarantined and 70 others who may have had contact with them have been traced and are now under surveillance in Port Harcourt. Chukwu said, “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.” He further pleaded with patients under surveillance to follow medical directive, not to travelled until certified free, adding that incident management team are now up in Port Harcourt. The Minister urged Nigerians not to panic as experience gathered from Lagos and Enugu will be used to





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