By Ndidi Chukwu
The Federal Government has rebuffed rumours of re-emergence of deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) reported in Calabar, Cross- Rivers State of Nigeria on the 7th of October.
Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Health, Linus Awute in a press conference said “there is no Ebola Virus Disease in Nigeria”. Awute said a 21 year old Student of University of Calabar, was brought to the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital at 1am on the 7th of October, and presented with bleeding, vomiting, skin rashes and diarrhoea. He died 7 hours after admission in the hospital, “his death caused panic in the hospital and among the medical team that treated him, who thought it was Ebola” said Awute. He said from tests and symptoms seen in the patient, Lassa fever was ruled out, scientific tests results for Ebola were negative, as patient’s temperature reportedly was at 37degree centigrade, and vital signs stable.
“We have quarantined 10 people including the patient’s family who had contact with him before his death, and blood samples have been taken to our labs to ascertain the actual cause of death. We also confirmed that the deceased didn’t had a travel history that may have exposed him to infections from countries that are still battling with the virus” Awute said.
Some Family members of the deceased as reported by the Federal Ministry of Health in the last one month had chicken pox infections, but Awute said “only lab results will tell what Virus killed the 21 years old student”
He however said health workers are “still alert” and the government has maintain its surveillance to prevent the resurgence of the deadly Ebola Virus which was contained in October 2014 in Nigeria.
“all our entry points are not porous , we have machines installed in all entry points to detect any threat any time, we will also urge Nigerians to maintain hygiene and regular hand washing, there is no need for panic Ebola is not in Nigeria” said the Permanent Secretary.