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Nigeria Ambassador, 3 ECOWAS Staff, 55 Others Had Contact With Lagos Ebola Victim

Mr. Patrick Sawyer

The Lagos State Government says the Nigeria Ambassador to Liberia, Chigozie Obi-Nnadozie, three staff of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, and 55 others had contact with the victim of Ebola Virus Disease, EVD, Patrick Sawyer, who died in Lagos last Thursday.

 Mr. Patrick Sawyer

Late Patrick Sawyer, diagnosed with EVD died on Thursday in Lagos

Patrick Sawyer, a 40-year old WASH Consultant, Finance Ministry in Liberia was diagnosed with EVD in Lagos last week after he collapsed at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos, Nigeria.

Addressing a World News Conference on Monday in Lagos, Lagos Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris said 59 people had so far had contact with the Ebola victim, who arrived in Lagos on Asky Airline Flight No KP50.

“So far, a total of 59 contacts have been registered, consisting of 44 Hospital contacts (38 Healthcare workers and 6 laboratory staff) and 15 Airport contacts, comprising 3 ECOWAS staff-driver, Liaison, and Protocol officer, Nigerian Ambassador to Monrovia, 2 Nursing staff and 5 Airport passenger handlers.

“As of the time of this report, 20 contacts had been physically screened of which 50% had type 1 contact and 50% had had type 2 contact. Airline manifest has not been provided by the airline 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),” he said.

Idris said “preliminary laboratory investigation conducted by the NCDC AI virology laboratory of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital and the World-Bank Funded African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases (ACEGID) Redeemers’ University detected viral DNA and in both blood and urine samples obtained from the patient were positive for the Pan Filo virus analysis and Ebola Zaire MGB virus strain- specific analysis. Samples were also collected for further confirmation at the WHO Collaborating laboratory for Ebola in Dakar.”

He disclosed that an isolation ward has been designated by the Lagos State Ministry of Health at the Infectious Disease Hospital, Yaba for case management, saying that designation of three other health facilities is underway.

The commissioner further said that a total of 100 Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) were procured by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) an the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) and distributed to the private hospital and the State Ministry of Health, while World Health Organisation (WHO) also donated 250 PPEs to the NCDC/FMOH.

He said in adhering strictly to WHO guidelines, the body of the deceased patient was decontaminated using 10% sodium hypochlorite and cremated, with the permission of the government of Liberia as a cremation urn had been prepared for dispatch to the family, adding that the vehicle that conveyed the remains was also fully decontaminated.

Idris explained that the Liberian victim had arrived at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport Lagos from Monrovia via Lome on Asky Airline Flight No KP50, on his way to Calabar for the 8th ECOWAS Retreat of Heads of Offices meeting, as a senior ECOWAS official in Liberia.

“His plane was reported to have had a brief stop at Accra and Lome, and the aircraft was changed at Lome. He was also reported to have fallen ill while on board and remained very ill on arrival at the airport in Lagos. He was then assisted by various airport and ECOWAS protocol staff to a private hospital named First Consultant Medical Centre, Obalende, and Lagos.

“An initial diagnosis of suspected Viral Haemorrhagic fever was made. He was admitted and investigations were carried and supportive treatment was commenced. The private hospital immediately notified the State Ministry of Health who also notified the Federal Ministry of Health. The patient however died at about 6.50am on the 25th July 2014,” he explained.

“We can categorically state that as of today we have only one case of imported Ebola and one death. No Nigerian is infected, but all contacts are being actively followed. We call on all Nigerians to be calm and not panic and do hereby assure them that both the State and Federal Governments and up in arms to ensure that the virus did not escape and that no Nigeria is infected with this virus,” Idris stated.

According to Idris, “the Joint Federal and State Team on the basis of all experiences gathered from the response to this outbreak recommends the following: Mobilize funding for response activities, logistics  and supplies; train and orientate health staff on the Ebola outbreak response Standards Operating Procedures, supply laboratory diagnostic supplies or activate the mobile VHF laboratory, provide adequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE); organize psychosocial support and provide incentives to health personnel involved in Ebola outbreak response; design key messages in the local language and intensify public enlightenment in the local languages and involve the community in response activities.”


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