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No Need To Panic Over Ebola In Port Harcourt -Amaechi

Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi

Ayo Balogun

Following the outbreak of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria, Governor Rotimi Amaechi has told residents of the state not to panic as government has the machinery to curtail the spread of the disease.

Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi

Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi

The governor, in a Statewide broadcast on Thursday said the people of the state woke up in the morning, only to be confronted with the news that Ebola had claimed its first victim in the state, by the name, Dr. Iyke Sam Enemuo.

“Dr. Iyke Sam Enemuo died last Friday, August 22, 2014 as a result of what was suspected to be Ebola virus disease. The State Ministry of Health on becoming aware of the conditions of his death, immediately commenced investigations and contact tracing.

“As at today, about 100 contacts from a hotel, patients of Dr. Enemuo and patients of the hospital where the late Enemuo was treated until his demise have been identified and restricted. The different locations are being decontaminated.

He said investigations revealed that a staff of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on the team that received late Dr. Patrick Sawyer, the Liberian American diplomat who died of Ebola haemorrhagic disease in Lagos, Nigeria made a trip to Port Harcourt where he checked into a hotel and met with Dr. Iyke Sam Enemuo.

The governor explained that about a week after his departure, Dr. Enemuo took ill and was rushed to a hospital with symptoms of fever, diarrhea and vomiting and that in the course of treatment, the managing physician became suspicious and took blood samples for investigation.

“A few days later, Dr. Iyke Enemuo died, precisely on August 22, 2014. Dr. Iyke Enemuo’s widow, who is also a medical doctor and who cared of him during his illness has taken ill. She is being quarantined.

“The diplomat who was seen by late Dr. Iyke Enemuo is alive and well. There’s no need to panic. Everyone should remain calm and go about their normal businesses. The Government of Rivers State is doing everything possible to contain the effects and spread of the Ebola virus.

“We have the material and human resources we need to fight and defeat the deadly virus. Officials from the Federal Ministry of Health and other international agencies are already here working with the state ministry of health to contain and combat the virus,” he said.

Amaechi urged the people of the state to endeavour to adhere to basic hygiene rules, such as washing of hands regularly with soap and water and avoid unnecessary body contacts like shaking of hands.

He said anyone with symptoms indicative of diarrhea, high fever, vomiting, abdominal pain, excessive weakness of the body and unexplained bleeding, should call these Ebola emergency numbers: 08167733939, 07036321076, 08033124314 or our State emergency call centre: 112

“It is a known fact that early detection and appropriate medical attention increases the chances of survival of an infected person. People have survived Ebola and more people can survive it. There is no need or reason to hide or run away. Seek immediate medical help. Call our Ebola help lines. Together, we can contain and defeat the Ebola virus,” he assured.


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