Nigeria’s Health Minister, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu confirms another Ebola death in Port Harcourt. This brings the total number of deaths in the country to six.
This confirmation was made to news media on Thursday, August 28, 2014 in Abuja. The victim, a medical doctor contracted the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) after treating a patient who came in contact with the Liberian who brought the diseases to Nigeria, Patrick Sawyer.
“This primary contact of Mr. Sawyer’s evaded our surveillance team in the last week of July 2014 and travelled out of Lagos to Port Harcourt where, as we now understand, he consulted with a doctor and was apparently treated for some symptoms,” he said. “After four days, following a manhunt for him, he returned to Lagos by which time he was found to be without symptoms.”
The doctor who treated the patient however got infected and died on August 22, 2014 in Port Harcourt.
“Following the report of this death by the doctor’s widow the next day, the case had been thoroughly investigated and laboratory analysis showed that this doctor died from EVD,” the minister said.
“As a result, several contacts have now been traced, registered and placed under surveillance. However, because the widow is now symptomatic, she has been quarantined pending the outcome of laboratory tests on her.”
Chukwu did not name the doctor or the patient who infected him. The wife of the doctor has been quarantined and 70 other contacts have since been traced and placed under surveillance in Port Harcourt.
The Health Minister also advised residents of Port Harcourt not to panic, assuring them that the government was in full control of the situation. He appealed to residents under surveillance in Port Harcourt to abide by the advise of health officials.
Patrick Sawyer, a Liberian, arrived in Nigeria on July 20, 2014 with the Ebola disease and died on July 25, 2014. Since then, 5 people have died as a result of primary and secondary contact with him.