The disease currently has no cure and vaccine
Fear that the Ebola virus, which is raging in neighbouring West African countries, might have found its way into Nigeria was heightened on Thursday after a Liberian exhibiting the symptoms of the deadly disease was hospitalised in Lagos on Thursday.
The special adviser on Health to the Lagos State governor, Yewande Adesina, told journalists a patient with possible Ebola infection has been detained pending result of his blood sample sent to the Virology Reference Laboratory in Lagos and the World Health Organisation, WHO, in Dakar, Senegal.
According to Ms. Adesina, the 40-year-old man arrived in Lagos from Liberia on Sunday and was admitted to Hospital on Tuesday with severe diarrhoea and vomiting.
“Results are still pending. Presently the patient’s condition is stable and he is in recovery. The diarrhoea and vomiting have stopped. He is still under isolation,” Ms. Adesina said.
Apart from the test results being awaited from the virology laboratory in Lagos and from WHO in Dakar, Ms. Adesina said a third test has to be conducted outside Nigeria before a final verdict on whether the man is suffering from Ebola can be reached.
Last week, the Lagos state government issued an alert on the disease, warning the public to practice safe hygiene as well as advising health workers to always wear protective gear when treating people with symptoms of the disease.
Lagos is a city of over 20 million people and an outbreak of the fast spreading in the city virus could result in a major health catastrophe.
In recent months the disease has infected over 900 people mostly in Central and West African countries. Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea have recorded the highest cases of infections. More than 630 people have died so far from Ebola in the three countries. Ebola has a fatality rate of 90 and there is no cure or vaccine to treat it yet.
On Wednesday, the chief Ebola doctor in Sierra Leone, Umar Khan, tested positive for the disease. The disease is believed to be transferred from apes to humans who hunt them for food.
Symptoms include, fever, headache, chills, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, sore throat, backache, and joint pains. Later symptoms include bleeding from the eyes, ears and nose, bleeding from the mouth and rectum, eye swelling, swelling of the genitals and rashes all over the body.