The Rivers State Government on Thursday provided the details of the spread of the Ebola Virus Disease into the state.
The Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, had on Thursday said a medical doctor in Rivers State had died from the EVD.
Chief among information provided by the RVSG were the name of the doctor who died as a result of the EVD infection, the name of his hospital and the details of the decontamination of the hotel where the diplomat and ECOWAS staff who infected him stayed while in Port Harcourt, the state capital.
The Rivers State Commissioner for Health, Samson Parker, told newsmen in the early hours ofThursday that a Nigerian Diplomat, who was a primary contact with the index case of the EVD in Nigeria, the late Patrick Sawyer, infected the late doctor.
The doctor’s name was given as Iyke Sam-Enemuo.
His hospital, Sam Steel Clinic, is said to be on the East-West Road at Rumuokoro.
Sam-Enemuo was said to have died on Friday.
The Nigerian diplomat who caused his death was said to have sneaked out of where he was quarantined in Lagos State to get treatment at Sam Steel’s Hospital in Rivers State.
But this was after he had stayed in one of the hotels in Port Harcourt.
The doctor was said to have ignorantly treated the diplomat.
Sam-Enemuo’s wife, who is said to have a three-month-old baby, is also reported to be down with symptoms of the EVD.
Both mother and baby have been quarantined in Port Harcourt.
Parker said the hospitals and hotels involved in the EVD spread have been decontaminated.
Parker said over 100 persons, including primary and secondary contacts of the late Sam-Enemuo have been placed under surveillance.
Members of the public have been advised to call these numbers: 0816773393 and 0703632176 to report any suspected case of EVD.
People are now being scanned before they are allowed entrance into some public hospitals, while experts from Emory University Hospital in the United States of America are on ground to train Rivers State Health Officials on how to tackle the outbreak.
Chukwu had earlier on Thursday said a Nigerian medical doctor died of Ebola virus in Port Harcourt.
Chukwu told a news conference in Abuja that “this primary contact of Mr. Sawyer’s evaded our surveillance team in the last week of July 2014 and travelled out of Lagos to Port Harcourt.
“He consulted with a doctor and was apparently treated for some symptoms.
“After four days, following a manhunt for him, he returned to Lagos, by which time he was found to be without symptoms.
“This case would have been of no further interest since he had completed the 21 days of surveillance without any issue, but for the fact that the doctor who treated him died last Friday, August 22.
“Following the report of this death by the doctor’s widow the next day, the case had been thoroughly investigated and laboratory analysis showed that this doctor died of Ebola.”
The minister said the number of deaths arising from Ebola in Nigeria was now six.
He said: “Lagos had 13 cases, seven were treated and discharged.”
Chukwu said because the widow was symptomatic, she had been quarantined pending the outcome of laboratory tests.
He said as a result, several contacts had been traced, registered and placed under surveillance.
The minister said an Incident Management Committee had already deployed a team to Port Harcourt to work with the health authorities.
Chukwu stressed that just like the situation was effectively managed in Lagos and Enugu, the situation in Port Harcourt would also be managed.
He appealed to all contacts under surveillance to abide by the advice given to them by the Incident Management Committee.
The Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, urged Nigerians to cooperate with the authority in combating the disease.
Maku said: “We can only defeat the disease with citizens’ cooperation.
“We appeal to those under surveillance to please abide by the rule.
“Do not travel.”
Maku urged Nigerians not to relent in observing and maintaining good hygiene practices, stressing that it was disastrous to assume that the disease had been contained so one would not contract it again.
He urged the media to re-enforce the awareness of the disease as it was a continuous fight and that nobody should take hygiene practices for granted.
He added: “Dealing with an epidemic has to do with education.
“A lot of the work has to do with the media.
“We are very important frontier fighters.”