Health officials in Nigeria are running tests on dozens of people who had contact with the country’s first-known ebola victim. They include Nigeria’s ambassador to Liberia. Authorities are also urging Nigerians to take basic health precautions. CCTV America’s Deji Badmus reports.
Ebola outbreak: Nigeria says sole case has been containedHealth officials in Nigeria are running tests on dozens of people who had contact with the country's first-known ebola victim. They include Nigeria's ambassador to Liberia. Authorities are also urging Nigerians to take basic health precautions. CCTV America's Deji Badmus reports.
Authorities are on full alert. Until last Friday, Ebola was a deadly, but very distant, threat in Nigeria. Now the virus has taken its first victim in the city of Lagos. Liberian Patrick Sawyer flew in from Monrovia and died in a Lagos clinic five days later.
Officials are trying to trace 30,000 people who may have had contact with Sawyer on his final journey. So far, they have found 59.
“We have two sets of contacts…one set from the airline when he boarded the plane, the contacts are being followed by the ports health people…the contacts in the hospital where he was treated, we have said so far 59 contacts on the whole that we are tracing. Forty-four of them are from the hospital, including nurses, the healthcare workers and other staff…and 15 airport contacts.” – Jide Idris, Lagos State Commissioner for Health
So far, none of the contacts have shown any symptoms. However, officials are keeping some under close surveillance and running blood tests. They also urge Nigerians to minimize their own risk of catching the virus.
The hospital where the Liberian man died has been shut down and is undergoing a process of careful decontamination before it is reopened.
Officials say Sawyer has been cremated and are awaiting a request from Monrovia before sending his ashes home.
This outbreak of Ebola is covering a much broader area than previous ones and infecting more people. The big question now is why. Dr. William Schaffner gave CCTV America his insight. He is chair of the Department of Preventive Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.