Dr. Lawal Bakare, the founder of Ebola Alert, Nigeria’s official Alert platform for Ebola, has urged residents of Lagos State to ignore viral rumours of a purported fresh case of the dreaded Ebola Virus Disease, EVD in the state.
It was widely rumoured in a message titled, “Ebola Returns to Nigeria after Killing 3 and infecting 12” which made waves on various social media in the late hours of Friday April 10, 2015 and rolled over to Saturday, April 11, 2015.
The message claimed that one of the purported victims, Mr. George Lawal, displayed major signs of the disease which caused panic among his neighbours.
The message said, “He was immediately taken to an undisclosed hospital in Lagos where he later died. Doctors confirmed he was struck with the Ebola flu.
“They are believed to have made major contacts with at least 12 people who are on the large. Please, share the news and report any suspected victim to nearby authorities.”
However, the rumours were debunked via a statement made by the founder and spokesperson of Ebola Alert and obtained by The Trent on Sunday, April 12, 2015.
Bakare said, “We found a fast spreading false rumor of Ebola cases in Nigeria. The rumor was initiated by an irresponsible blogger who lied that there are cases of Ebola in Nigeria just to generate traffic to her website.
“In order to prevent what happened during the Ebola outbreak where people were told to drink salt water and some ended up losing their lives, we are doing this to let you know ahead of this rumor and to also tell your friends and neighbors. The rumor is false, there is no known case of Ebola in Nigeria.
“WHO in partnership with the Nigerian Center for Disease Control and the Lagos State Ministry of Health have trained hospitals across Lagos and other parts of the country on how to report any suspect case of Ebola.
“We will be one of the first to know if there is Ebola in Nigeria and be sure we will notify Nigerians through official and appropriate channels.”