No Nigerian infected with Ebola Virus - Health Ministry

Nigerians have been advised to be calm and not panic over the reported case of Ebola Virus in Lagos State, with an assurance that no Nigerian is infected with the virus.

Addressing a joint Ministerial Press briefing of the Lagos State Ministry of Health and Federal Ministry of Health on development concerning the disease on Monday, the Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris, affirmed that there had only been one case of imported Ebola resulting in the death of a Liberian diplomat in Lagos.

He emphasised that health authorities were being very proactive about the detection of the Ebola Virus in the Liberian, who was on his way to Calabar for a conference, by ensuring that all contacts were being actively followed.

Dr Idris said part of the measures taken after the death of the Liberian was the demobilisation of the private hospital where he was admitted and elimination of primary source of infection.

He stated that the decontamination process in all affected areas had commenced.
“The corpse of the victim has since been cremated, and the ash is awaiting further directives from the Liberian Embassy,” he said, commending the Management of the hospital for effectively detecting a high-risk patient within 24 hours.

“Adhering strictly to WHO guidelines, the body of the deceased patient was decontaminated using 10% 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 that conveyed the remains was also fully decontaminated,” he added.
In terms of contacts tracing, Dr Idris explained that so far a total of 59 contacts was registered consisting of 44 hospital contacts (38 healthcare workers and six laboratory staff) and 15 Airport contacts comprising 3 ECOWAS staff-driver, Liaison, and Protocol officers, Nigerian Ambassador to Monrovia, two nursing staff and five Airport passenger handlers.

He further explained that out of the number, 20 contacts had been physically screened of which 50 per cent were of the type one contact and another 50 per cent had type two contacts.

Dr Idris stated that an isolation ward was designated by the Lagos State Ministry of Health at the Infectious Disease Hospital, Yaba for case management while the designation of three other health facilities is underway.

The Commissioner also said a call-in team was established for the public to dial in and obtain information on the Ebola Virus Disease while Toll-free lines were obtained from a telecommunication service provider to be used for answering questions, creating awareness, and receiving notifications of any suspected case just as public awareness creation through social media such as Twitter and Facebook’s accounts had been also activated.