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Ebola: Lagos Begins Tracing Of Persons In Contact With Infected Doctor

The Lagos State Government says it has begun compilation of a comprehensive list of all people who had contact with the female doctor who is infected with the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) after contacting the disease from the late Patrick Sawyer.

Lagos Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris disclosed this on Tuesday at a news conference to give update on the Ebola disease.

ebola22He said the contact tracing was part of measures to contain the spread of the dreaded virus, while appealing to Lagosians to be vigilant and careful in relation with people, who are facing health challenges.

“Contact tracing is essential and very important to stop the spread of the deadly virus. In the case of the newly infected person, we have contacted her family and have opened comprehensive lists of both primary and secondary contacts of the newly infected person.

“There is no panic as long as basic precautionary measures such as hand washing, adoption of appropriate waste management and enhanced personal/environmental hygiene are adhered to. This is a call for everyone to be vigilant, especially with regard to relating with people who are ill,” he said.

Idris insisted that the female medical doctor who tested positive to the Ebola Virus Disease is not dead as being rumoured, saying that the female medical doctor who attended to the index case of Ebola Virus Disease at a private hospital in Lagos is the only confirmed case to date out of the eight primary contact under clinical surveillance and care.

“Her being infected is largely due to the fact that she was a primary contact when the index case presented. At that point in time, the disease was not known to have been imported into the country”, Idris explained.

He stated that the essence of the briefing is to highlight the mode of transmission of Ebola Virus Disease stressing that the disease is transmissible through direct contact with broken skin, mucous membranes and secretions of an infected persons or through direct contact with materials and surfaces that have been contaminated by an infected person.

“This is a call for vigilance as human to human transmission is only achieved by physical contact with a person who is acutely and gravely ill from Ebola virus through body fluids such as blood, urine, stool, saliva, breast milk and semen. Burial ceremonies where mourners including family members have direct contact with patients who died of Ebola have also played a role in the spread of the disease”, Idris said.

The Commissioner noted that in Africa, infection has also occurred through the handling of infected chimpanzees, monkeys, guerillas, fruit bats, antelopes and porcupine adding that there has been no case of transmission by domestic animals like pigs.

He urged everyone to be vigilant especially with regard to relating with people who are ill stressing that there is no cause to panic as long as basic precautionary measures such as hand washing, adoption of appropriate waste management and enhanced personal and environmental hygiene are adhered to.

Idris opined that precautionary measures such as hand washing, adoption of appropriate waste management and enhanced personal and environmental hygiene is relevant especially when large congregations are expected with a mix of people from other part of the world. He commended the responsiveness and cooperation received from the Redeemed Christian Church of God in this regard during the church’s on-going convention.

While appreciating various health workers who have selflessly committed to this cause of preventing the spread of the virus in the areas of contact tracing, case management, decontamination, the Commissioner appealed to other health workers like doctors, nurses, environmental health workers and phlebotomists to complement the State health workforce.

He appealed to striking doctors to return to work and urged other health workers to sheath their swords and embrace team work in the drive to stem the spread of the disease in the State.

“We also count on the cooperation of the good people of Lagos State as your government, in partnership with the Federal government may need in the course of taking decisions in the overriding interest of the public, institute measures that may be considered inconvenient to some people”, Idris said.


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