A Liberian, Patrick Sawyer, quarantined in a private medical facility in Lagos, for suspected infection of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) was reported dead on Friday triggering panic across the country because the disease is highly contagious and has no cure yet.
Lagos State government confirmed Sawyer’s death and infection with Ebola Virus at a press briefing held at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, Alausa Secretariat, Ikeja.
Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, said the victim died overnight after treatment showed he was stable.
He said: “The result of the test conducted at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), proved he had the virus. But we are yet to finally assume that it was Ebola virus until the result from the laboratory in Dakar, Senegal proved same.
“At present, we are trying to sanitise and dispose the body properly in order not to allow the spread of the virus. We need to dispose the body properly and we also need to get certain permits from the Liberian Government.”
The commissioner said that the corpse of anyone who died of Ebola Virus Disease is more dangerous
“After dealing with the body, we will sanitise the hospital in order not to allow the spread of the virus in the state. After that, we will set up treatment centres as soon as we finish disposing the dead body. Also, we have started contact tracing of all those he (Patrick) had contact with on the airplane and if any in the country. We have gotten the manifest of the plane. And we have started tracing the location of each of the passengers. Each of the passengers will be interviewed. And we will also monitor them for 21 days to see if they develop any symptoms that are Ebola Virus Disease related.
“In order to checkmate influx of people with such virus into Lagos, we have discussed with the Nigeria Port-health officials and they have deployed people to the seaports, airports and the borders in the state to check anyone coming into the country with the virus,” he said.
Ebola is believed to be carried by animals hunted for meat, notably bats.
It spreads among humans via bodily fluids including sweat, which makes it highly contagious. It has no vaccine yet.[Tribune]