Thursday, October 8, 2015 11:57 pm
Ten persons have been quarantined after coming into contact with a patient with Ebola-like symptoms in the southern Nigerian city of Calabar, officials said on Thursday, a year after the country was declared free of the deadly disease.
A patient came to the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital on Wednesday with symptoms consistent with the viral hemorrhagic fever, staff there said.
Local media reported the patient had since died, though there was no official confirmation.
“We have sent blood samples for testing and quarantined identified contacts,” the hospital’s chief medical director, Queeneth Kalu, said. Nigeria’s National Emergency Management Agency said 10 people were in quarantine.
In another reaction , the Cross River Government says it is awaiting results of blood samples of the dead patient.
Dr Sunday Omini, Director of Public Health said:
“We are aware of the situation and we have got preliminary reports from the hospital, and we are all awaiting the result of the blood samples.
“But judging from the information I have received so far, I am 90 per cent sure that it is not Ebola.
“`However, we are on top of the situation, there is no cause for alarm,’’ he said.
The management of UCTH said it had informed all relevant agencies about the development, including the National Centre for Disease Control, Federal Ministry of Health and Cross River government.
Dr Queenet Kalu, Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee (CMAG), on behalf of the Medical Director of the hospital said the public would be informed adequately as soon as results of the blood samples were released, adding that the hospital management had quarantined identified contacts.
“Further information will be made available as soon as we receive the results of the samples sent for analysis,’’ it said.
Any confirmed case would cause major concern across the region, where experts had hoped they were finally emerging from the worst epidemic of the disease on record.
The three West African countries at the heart of the epidemic – Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone – had just recorded their first week with no new cases since the outbreak was declared in March 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday.
The Ebola virus arrived in Nigeria in July last year when travelling Liberian businessman Patrick Sawyer collapsed in Lagos airport. But the country was declared Ebola free in October last year.