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Today’s Ebola briefing: Another victim dies

Today’s Ebola briefing: Another victim dies
August 14
19:18 2014

Four persons ─ three Nigerians inclusive ─ have now died from the Ebola virus disease, health minister Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu said on Thursday.

The Nigerians who died all had direct contact with the index case ─ the Liberian-American, Patrick Sawyer, who brought the disease to Nigeria.

The latest casualty is said to be a nurse ─ meaning two nurses and an ECOWAS protocol officer have died so far.

The latest Nigerian to die has been named as Justina Echelonu, a 25-year-old nurse from Abia State. Her death was preceded by that of Jatto Asihu Abdulqudir, 36, an ECOWAS official who hailed from Kogi State.


The identity of the third victim, also a nurse, is yet to be revealed.

The two nurses worked at First Consultant Hospital, Lagos, and had direct contact with Sawyer, while Abdulqudir went to the airport to receive the Liberian who was in Nigeria for an ECOWAS meeting in Calabar, Cross Rover State.

Chukwu said there have been 10 cases in Nigeria now ─ and not 11 as earlier announced.


With four dead, the mortality is now 40%, while six other patients are undergoing treatment and are said to be responding well.

According to the minister, all cases are currently confined to Lagos, contrary to reports that there have been cases in Enugu, Abia, Imo, Akwa Ibom and Anambra States as well as the Federal Capital Territory.

Those under surveillance in Lagos are now 169, the minister said ─ all of them secondary contacts.

Others who had primary contacts with Sawyer have completed the 21-day incubation watch period “and have been delisted to resume their normal lives”, the statement said.


In Enugu, six persons are being watched because they had contact with a nurse who had earlier worked on the index case.

Although 15 other persons were evaluated, it was proved that they did not have any contact with the nurse.

It is still unknown if the nurse has caught the virus, but she is still under watch and is displaying some symptoms similar to Ebola.

Her husband has not shown any symptoms but has been quarantined because of their “intimidate contact” while in Enugu.


The nurse had been placed under surveillance in Lagos but she disobeyed the Incidence Management Committee and travelled to Enugu, the minister said.



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