Ebola Spreads as 21 Persons Are Quarantined in Enugu- FG
The deadly Ebola virus which reared its ugly head in Lagos when Liberian man, Patrick Sawyer flew into Nigeria with the virus may have spread to other parts of the country as the Federal Government has confirmed the suspicion of 21 cases in Enugu.
Briefing State House journalists at the end of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting chaired by President Goodluck Jonathan on Wedneday, Information Minister Labaran Maku disclosed the 21 one persons who have been quarantined were those who had contacts with a female nurse that had primary contact with Sawyer in Lagos
The minister explained that the nurse who had earlier been confirmed of contacting the virus from Patrick Sawyer disobeyed medical instructions and traveled to Enugu.
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 ate 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.
Maku said “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.
“We are calling on citizens specifically to cooperate. If health workers say you have had contact with A,B,C, don’t move to anywhere, respect that judgement. Its very important. 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.
“In terms of possible treatment, the ministry of health set up a special committee specifically to take claims from Nigerians who believe they could help and so far we have had a lot of reports from Nigerians at home and abroad who come forward to say look they have possibility of developing therapies that could help in fighting the virus. 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 btw himself and his fellow experts in the US and he said this is ongoing. The minister of health has given support and directed him to the committee. He also discussed the possibility of certain therapy they care now using which could be applied. And again that is being discussed. And once it is approved, it could be used.
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