Saturday, August 30, 2014

Ebola: 160 placed under observation in Port-Harcourt

Following the death of an Ebola victim in Port Harcourt, Rivers State during the week, at least 160 persons that made contact with the victim have been identified and put under observation.
The Rivers State Commissioner for Health, Sampson Parker, stated at a news conference at the state’s secretariat in Port Harcourt on Friday that the people had shown no signs of the Ebola disease.
He, however, said that the people were strictly under watch.
The commissioner added that the baby of the widow of the late health worker, who has since been quarantined, was in good health.
While dispelling rumours that the state was not working with the Federal Government in tackling the spread of the disease, Parker said, “Rivers State now has a mobile testing unit for testing blood samples for the virus. A national Ebola response team has been set up and headed by the Minister of Health, Professor Oyenbuchi Chukwu.”
He also stated that all places identified to have been visited by the late victim after he met with an ECOWAS diplomat, 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.
Meanwhile, there was panic in the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital in Cross River State over a suspected Ebola case on Friday.
The scare was intensified when a member of the National Conference from the state, Mr. Orok Duke, took to his Facebook page to spread the information.
Duke said an Ebola patient arrived from Port Harcourt and had been quarantined.
But the Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Dr. Thomas Agan, expressed shock over the situation while describing Duke’s claim as unfounded.
In a text message sent to one of our correspondents, he said, “I am shocked that someone of your status will post an unfounded story on Facebook to misinform not only Nigerians but the world at large! You know the implications are far reaching!
“Please be informed that there is no case of Ebola both in UCTH and General Hospital, Calabar. I will advise you to retract what you have posted immediately Sir!”
The state Commissioner for Health, Angela Oyo-Ita, said it was not true that an Ebola patient was quarantined at UCTH.
She said, “It is absolutely false. Whoever is bringing that up does not mean well for the state. A sick patient came in and people ran away. I received a call and acted on it; so they got back to me and said the person tested HIV positive. The person came from Port Harcourt.
“It is not true that people have been quarantined in the hospital. The patient has been tested for HIV and not Ebola.”
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.
Since the outbreak of the disease in West Africa, at least 1,500 deaths have been recorded.

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