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article imageNigerian nurse infected with Ebola dies after going to Enugu

By Karen Graham     Aug 14, 2014 in Health
Lagos - Nigerian Information Minister, Labaran Maku, revealed yesterday that Nigeria now has 10 confirmed Ebola virus cases, all stemming from contact with American-Liberian Patrick Sawyer, who died of the disease in Lagos.
One of the primary contacts with Mr. Sawyer, a nurse who has died, ignored medical instructions to remain in the city because she was infected with the Ebola virus, and traveled with her husband to Enugu to visit her family. Enugu is over 300 km from Lagos, and is the capital of the state of Enugu.
Mr. Maku said on Wednesday that despite the deaths of three people, including the nurse, who had come into direct contact with Patrick Sawyer, the Ebola virus disease is not a threat to the country. He stated that 10 people out of 198 primary and secondary contacts with Mr. Sawyer have tested positive for Ebola.
Of the 198 people under quarantine, 177 are in Lagos and 21 people are in Enugu. The minister told reporters the family of the late nurse, as well as others who had direct contact with her, are being quarantined in other places across the state.
Maku also warned that the government would prosecute anyone found to be spreading false rumors or unverified reports on the Ebola epidemic, saying they were spreading the government health officials to all key entry-points, airports and seaports.
"We are calling on citizens specifically to cooperate. If health workers say you have had contact with A,B, or C, don’t move to anywhere, respect that judgement. It is very important. In one or two cases where we have had disobedience, we lost one of them and this one now moved with it to another place (Enugu). So we are urging Nigerians, please to help us in making sure that all these messages and appeals we are making on you, we implement them,” he said.
Regarding possible claims of cures or possible cures, Mr. Maku said there was no recorded cure for the disease. The government wants to ensure that Ebola does not breakout like it did in the Congo in 1976 when the first outbreak occurred.
When asked about treatments, Mr. Maku said “the ministry of health set up a special committee specifically to take claims from Nigerians who believe they can help. So far we have had a lot of reports from Nigerians at home and abroad who come forward to say look they have the possibility of developing therapies that could help in fighting the virus. There is no cure so far, anywhere in the world. Even the trial drug in the US is still a trial drug, it has not been established."
Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, along with President Goodluck Jonathan has launched an automatic hand sanitizers initiative, posting the stations in strategic locations for public and private use. Meanwhile, the death toll for Ebola stands at 1,069, with the total number of infected at 1,975, according to the World Health Organization.
More about Nigeria, Ebola, Lagos, Quarantine, further spread
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