A Liberian national was on Tuesday discharged from the Isolation Unit of the Mainland Hospital, Yaba, Lagos, after he tested negative to the Ebola Virus Disease.
Jide Idris, the Lagos State Health Commissioner, said at a press conference, Wednesday, that the unnamed Liberian was picked up at the airport and transported to the hospital.
Patrick Sawyer, a Liberian-American, imported the deadly virus into Nigeria, last month, and the disease has claimed five lives.
Dr. Idris also said that six people are currently in the hospital’s Isolation Ward, while those on contact tracing are still actively combing the nook and cranny of the state in search of more suspected cases.
“Contact tracing activity is now vigorous and that’s the major area of containment so we are going to harp on it because that’s the only way you can prevent spread into the major population,” said Dr. Idris.
“With our population, the chances of getting new cases are still high and that’s why the contact tracing is the major area of containment.
“People should report new suspected cases. The contact tracing team are very active. They are proactive now. We are getting more vehicles now to get more teams, they are training more people to join the teams. Because, let’s not kid ourselves, with our population, we don’t know, we pray not, but again we want to err on the side of caution,” said Dr. Idris.
Responding to questions from journalists, the commissioner said that no special drug was administered to those people who have been discharged from the isolation ward, noting that innate immunity was key to their recovery.
“There is no specific treatment or cure for now, no vaccine. However, any patient who comes down with Ebola is given supportive treatment, meaning that depending on how the patient presents,” said Dr. Idris.
“Some patients can present with vomiting and diarrhoea, in which case the body will be losing fluids and electrolytes, and of course, the next stage is how to replace those things as soon as possible.
“Some could present a situation that requires critical cure. What we know is that treating an Ebola case is a totally different matter. Because you want to do as much as possible to save this person and at the same time ensure that while you treating that patient you are not in danger. So it’s a double-edged sword, you have to be very careful.
“And that’s why it’s very essential that whoever is going to go into the isolation unit must be properly trained on how to use the gown, how to remove the gown, how to move round. The essence is to protect yourself first, because you can make the slightest mistake and you’ll be infected.
“The outcome of anybody depends on how early you are brought into treatment, into isolation, and that’s why we keep begging people that do not hide at home, do not keep to yourself. As soon as you start developing symptoms, come out to the isolation ward to undergo treatment.”
Dr. Idris also ruled out the use of the Nano Silver drug, even if requested by a patient.
“You heard the minister clarify the issues. They brought in the Nano Silver, it was sent to the Research Review Unit who have said that we can’t use it. You’ve also heard, over there, the USAID said that they have not sanctioned it as a drug, and we will not use it based on expert advice,” he added.