Nigerian Ambassador, 3 ECOWAS staff, 55 Others Had Contact with Lagos Ebola Victim
The Lagos State Government has identified at least 59 people who had contacts with the Liberian who died of Ebola Virus in the state, Mr Patrick Sawyer. This was disclosed by the state’s commissioner of health, Dr Jide Idris at a news conference in Ikeja on Monday.
Idris said that the government had to trace and identify those who had contact with the deceased man in order to check whether the disease was transmitted.
Among the 59 people who had contact with Sawyer were 44 hospital contacts and 15 airport contacts, including the Nigerian Ambassador to Liberia. So far 20 of the contacts have been screened and none of them have been found to be infected with the virus.
Worrying however is the fact that none of those in the flight Sawyer boarded to Nigeria on July 20th have been traced or screened because the airline is yet to release the passenger manifest for investigation.
He said, “The airline manifest has not been provided by the airline as at the time of this report and therefore, the precise number of passenger contacts is yet to be ascertained, especially as two flights were involved (Monrovia-Lome and Lome-Lagos).”
Idris said that steps have been taken to prevent a spread of the virus in Nigeria and so Nigerians should harbor no fear.
According to Idris, the body of the deceased was decontaminated, using 10 per cent sodium hypochlorite and cremated with the permission of the Government of Liberia; a cremation urn has been prepared for dispatch to the family; the vehicle containing the remains have also been decontaminated and the hospital in which he died on July 25 has been demobilised.
Idris said the state Ministry of Health had designated an isolation ward at the Infectious Disease Hospital, Yaba, for case management, adding three other centres were under way.
The commissioner urged residents to report people with abnormal cases of bleeding and fever to the appropriate authorities for intervention, as high fever with bleeding from all body openings were symptoms of the disease.
Idris also urged residents to always keep their environments clean and maintain good personal hygiene as Ebola virus spreads easily in dirty environments.
Also speaking, the Director, National Centre for Disease Control, Prof. Abdul-Salami Nasidi, warned against the consumption of bats and monkeys as these animals had been established to be the original sources of Ebola.
He said, “This is time for those bat-eating and monkey-eating communities to be careful now. Ebola started from the eating of chimpanzees. How the virus got to the monkey, nobody knows yet.
“But this is the time to be careful about the eating of monkeys and bats. The Ebola threat is high in West Africa and people should start taking precautions.”
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