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%AM, %29 %484 %2014 %10:%Aug

Ebola In Port Harcourt

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Sadly, shortly after it was announced that the country of Nigeria has been able to contain the deadly virus, and that only one case is left, the Nigerian Minister of Health, Prof Onyebuchi Chukwu has confirmed the death of a doctor infected with the Ebola virus in the city of Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

He announced the news in Abuja at a press conference on Thursday.

The late doctor, whom the Minister of health refused to identify, but whose name was later said to be "Ikechukwu Sam Enemuo", was said to have contracted the deadly virus from a diplomat of the Economic Community of West African States while secretly treating him of the Ebola virus.

According to reports, the ECOWAS official, whose name was not given was said to have had contact with the index case in Nigeria (Patrick Sawyer). He was placed under surveillance but escaped to Port Harcourt where he allegedly lured his young doctor friend, Enemuo to treat him secretly in a hotel.

Interestingly, the official recovered from the disease and returned to Lagos where he was tested and given a clean bill of health.

Minister Chukwu said "This case (ECOWAS official) would have been of no further interest since he had completed the 21 days of surveillance without any other issue, but for the fact that the doctor who treated him died on August 22, 2014".

"Following the report of his death by the doctor's widow the next day, the case had been thoroughly investigated and laboratory analysis showed that this doctor died from EVD. As a result, several contacts have now been traced, registered and placed under surveillance. However, because the widow is now symptomatic, she has been quarantined pending the outcome of laboratory tests on her".

He added that the Incident Management Committee had already deployed a strong team in Port Harcourt to work with the Rivers State health authorities to combat the further spread of the virus.

The minister said following a test conducted on the corpse of the late Doctor Enemuo which showed he died from the virus, Health ministry officials immediately placed about 70 people who came in contact with him, whether when he was sick, or touched his corpse under surveillance. The Rivers State government however said that "about 100 contacts from the hotel, patients of the hospital where he was treated until his demise have been identified and restricted".

It was gathered that Doctor Enemuo, before he took ill, had operated on a woman on Monday, presumably after secretly treating the diplomat.

A resident of Port Harcourt said on her Facebook page that the widow of Dr. Enemuo who was quarantined along with the diplomat had a three-month-old baby.

"It is quite a calamity unfolding in Port Harcourt. Unfortunately, the city's health facilities are not quite ready to contain Ebola at the moment",she lamented.

She added that before Enemuo took ill on Tuesday, he "operated on a woman on Monday, presumably after treating the diplomat".

According to her post, "he (Enemuo) fell ill next day, Tuesday and died last Friday. No one knew about the hotel angle which was a very big risk he took... an unethical thing to do".

"He was ill for three days and then started vomiting blood. He was first rushed to one hospital where he was rejected and then taken to Good Heart Hospital whose owner is a cardiologist and a consultant physician with the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital. He died there", she said.

She mentioned that the doctor that died practices at Sam Steel Clinic, East West Road, Rumuokoro. She also mentioned that his widow who has a three-month-old baby is also a doctor.

The resident, who is also an educationist, added that what played out in this latest development was what she called the "ostrich mentality of our people".

"As it is, there may have been well over 200 contacts of this devilish diplomat who lured his young doctor friend to treat him secretly and went back to Lagos. We have to look at health workers in the Good Heart hospital, Sam Steel Clinic, the members of staff of the hotel and its guests, those who travelled with the diplomat in the same vehicle(s) or aircraft from Lagos to Port Harcourt, the late doctor's family members. The list goes on and on".

Prof Chukwu noted that Enemuo's death has increased the number of recorded deaths as a result of the Ebola disease to 6. He also explained that even though the ECOWAS official did not presently have the virus, further laboratory tests indicated that he had suffered the disease before travelling to Rivers State.

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Godwin Ibe

Medical Doctor (GP), IT professional, Web Designer, CELTA Certified Teacher of English, Economist and International Trade Marketer.
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