59 under watch over Ebola killer virus •Lagos hospital where victim died shut

Posted by News Express | 29 July 2014 | 4,219 times

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Fifty-nine persons who came in contact with the Liberian victim of Ebola Virus who died last Thursday in Lagos have been identified and placed under watch.

This was disclosed yesterday in Lagos at a joint ministerial press briefing of the Lagos State Ministry of Health and Federal Ministry of Health.

At the briefing, addressed by the Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, it was also affirmed that no Nigerian had been infected by the dreaded disease.

The airline that flew him to Nigeria, according to the state government, had, however, not yet provided the flight manifest.

The State Government called for calm, assuring that its collaborative efforts with the Federal Government were enough to ensure that the disease did not spread.

Idris added that health authorities were being very pro-active about the detection of the Ebola virus in the Liberian who was on his way to Calabar, Cross River State, for a conference, by ensuring that all contacts were being actively followed.

He said part of the measures taken after the death of the Liberian was the closure of the private hospital where he was admitted and elimination of primary source of infection, adding that the decontamination process in all affected areas had commenced.

He added that the corpse of the victim had since been cremated while the ash is still being kept while awaiting further directives from the Liberian Embassy.

Dr. Idris commended the role of the management of the hospital and its ability to detect a high-risk patient within 24 hours.

“Adhering strictly to World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines, the body of the deceased patient was decontaminated using 10 per cent Sodium Hypochlorite and cremated, with the permission of the government of Liberia,” the commissioner said.

“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 informed that so far, a total of 59 contacts were registered, consisting of 44 hospital contacts (38 healthcare workers and six laboratory staff) as well as 15 airport contacts, comprising three ECOWAS staff-driver, liaison and protocol officers, Nigerian Ambassador to Monrovia, two nursing staff and five airport passenger handlers.

He 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, type two contacts, adding that the airline manifest had not been provided yet.

“The airline manifest has not been provided at the time of this report and, therefore, the precise number of passenger contacts is yet to be ascertained, especially as two flights were involved (Monrovia - Lome and Lome - Lagos). There was no report of a medical incident filed,” he said.

Dr. Idris added 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 was underway.

The commissioner added that a call-in team was established for the public to dial in and obtain information on the disease while toll-free lines were obtained from a telecommunications service provider to be used for answering questions, creating awareness, and receiving notifications of any suspected case.

He added that accounts in social media, such as Twitter and Facebook, were also activated for the purpose.

Idris stressed that in recognising the importance of involving the community early in the response, traditional and religious leaders had been alerted to the disease and requested to report promptly to healthcare workers.

In her contribution, Special Adviser on Health, Dr. (Mrs.) Yewande Adeshina, appealed to operators of traditional health care centres to be wary of patients with fever symptoms, who show signs of extreme weakness and diarrhea.

President of the Nigerian Academy of Science, Prof. Oyewale Tomori, also at the briefing, said all the contact persons were being screened on a continuous basis, to look for any possible signs of the disease.

He commended the timely action taken by the Lagos State Government and the private hospital, adding that there was absolutely no need for people to panic.

Others at the briefing were the Special Adviser to the Governor on Information and Strategy, Mr Lateef Raji; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr Modele Osunkiyesi; Permanent Secretary, Health Services Commission, Dr Hamid Balogun and the Permanent Secretary, Primary Health Care Board, Dr Kayode Oguntimehin.

•Adapted from a Nigerian Tribune report. Photo shows Lagos Health Commissioner Dele Idris (2nd R), flanked by other government officials, giving an update on the war against Ebola Virus ... yesterday in Lagos.

Source: News Express

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