Five new suspected cases of Ebola Virus Disease were brought to the Yaba Mainland Hospital, Lagos, on Tuesday, the Lagos State government has said.
At a press conference, Wednesday, Jide Idris, the State Commissioner for Health, told journalists that two of those cases were from secondary contacts.
“Till date, we have recorded eight suspected cases, five of which came in yesterday, 12 confirmed,” said Dr. Idris.
“On the whole, five have died (including the index case). We are currently following up 213 contacts, and 62 have completed the two-day follow-up,” he added.
On Tuesday, Stella Adadevoh, the Senior Consultant and Endocrinologist at First Consultant Medical Centre, Obalende, passed away after succumbing to the deadly virus.
Dr. Idris paid tributes to the deceased doctor as well as the other health workers who had died from Ebola virus since the disease broke out in July, describing them as the heroes and heroines of the day.
“She, (Dr. Adadevoh) it was, who took the initiative to intimate the Ministry concerning the index case – Liberian-American (Mr. Patrick Sawyer) and substantially to her credit the moderate containment achieved is owed,” said Dr. Idris.
“She led the team who attended to the index case. Her doggedness and commitment to duty saw her personally reviewing the case even though the patient had earlier been seen by a doctor.
“The Ministry of Health commiserates with their families, co-workers, friends and loved ones on these irreparable losses which was on the line of duty,” he added.
Dr. Idris also said that the government’s “vigorous” contact tracing is now shifting from primary to secondary contacts.
“The mode of spread remains mainly transmission from an infected person in an infective state and from an infected animal (bat, monkey, etc) to a 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 (fever being a key sign) from Ebola virus through body fluids such as blood, urine, stool, saliva, breast milk, semen, and vomitus.
“Burial ceremonies where mourners including family members have direct contact with patients who died of Ebola have also played a role in the spread and direct contact with dead bodies should be minimized at this period, even as washing and burial/disposal of such bodies should be professionally handled with safety to personal health of handlers being a cardinal focus,” he added.
The Commissioner urged Lagos residents not to panic as health personnel are in place to manage the current cases, while efforts are doubled to secure the services of more volunteers to cope with any contingency.
“Certain concerns have been raised regarding those already discharged. I wish to re-assure you that the discharge process was in line with WHO International Health Regulations and they are still being followed up. No recorded carrier state in person that have recovered from the disease has been recorded,” said Dr. Idris.
“I encourage persons who have come in contact with infected persons to report early for treatment as such improves chances of survival.”