The battle to contain the spread of the Ebola Virus Disease, EVD, in Nigeria suffered a setback, as the Governor of the state, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi and the Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu both confirmed the news of the disease claiming its first victim.
Speaking in Port Harcourt, Governor Amaechi in a special broadcast said: “We woke up this morning to the sad confirmation that the dreaded Ebola Virus Disease has claimed its first victim in Rivers State.
Dr. Iyke Sam Enemuo died last Friday, August 22, 2014 as a result of what was suspected to be Ebola Virus Disease. The State Ministry of Health on becoming aware of the conditions of his death, immediately commenced investigations and contact tracing.
As at today, about 100 contacts from a hotel, patients of Dr. Enemuo and patients of the hospital where the late Enemuo was treated until his demise, have been identified and restricted. The different locations are being decontaminated.” Governor Amaechi in the broadcast said:
Our investigations reveal that:
*A staff of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on the team that received late Dr. Patrick Sawyer, the Liberian-American diplomat, who died of Ebola haemorrhagic disease in Lagos, made a trip to Port Harcourt, where he checked into a hotel and met with Dr. Iyke Sam Enemuo.
*About a week after his departure, Dr. Iyke Enemuo took ill and was rushed to a hospital with symptoms of fever, diarrhoea and vomiting. In the course of treatment, the managing physician became suspicious and took blood samples for investigation.
*A few days later, Dr. Iyke Enemuo died, precisely on August 22, 2014. Dr. Iyke Enemuo’s widow, who is also a medical doctor and who cared for him during his illness has taken ill. She is being quarantined.
*The diplomat who was seen by late Dr. Iyke Enemuo is alive and well.
Governor Amaechi assured that, “there’s no need to panic. Everyone should remain calm and go about their normal businesses. The Government of Rivers State is doing everything possible to contain the effects and spread of the Ebola virus. We have the material and human resources we need to fight and defeat the deadly virus. Officials from the Federal Ministry of Health and other international agencies are already here working with the state Ministry of Health to contain and combat the virus.
“Now, we must all endeavour to adhere to basic hygiene rules. Wash your hands regularly with soap and water and avoid unnecessary body contacts like shaking of hands. Anyone with symptoms indicative of diarrhoea, high fever, vomiting, abdominal pain, excessive weakness of the body and unexplained bleeding, should call these our Ebola emergency numbers: 08167733939, 07036321076, 08033124314 or our State emergency call centre: 112.
“It is a known fact that early detection and appropriate medical attention increases the chances of survival of an infected person. People have survived Ebola and more people can survive it. There is no need or reason to hide or run away. Seek immediate medical help. Call our Ebola help lines. Together, we can contain and defeat the Ebola virus”.