A highly placed official of the Rivers state Government has confirmed to PREMIUM TIMES that a suspected case of the Ebola Virus Disease has been detected in Port Harcourt, the Rivers state capital.
The official, who asked not to be named because he was not authorized to discuss the development with journalists, simply said, while adding that 70 people suspected to have had contact with the case have been tracked and quarantined,
�Yes, there was a case of Ebola death. We are tracking everybody.”
The official made the revelation following reports that a doctor in the Rivers state capital had died
from what appeared to be Ebola. The Rivers state Commissioner for Information, Ibim Semenitari, could not be reached for comments last night as she was said to be outside the country.
The unnamed doctor, according to Sahara Reporters, secretly treated a diplomat who had contact with Patrick Sawyer, the Liberian-American, who brought the virus to Nigeria. The doctor reportedly died on Friday, while his wife had also taken ill and now quarantined in Port Harcourt.
The diplomat treated by the doctor is still alive, the report said.
The diplomat is believed to be among those who met Mr. Sawyer on his arrival in Lagos. He then flew to Port Harcourt where he took ill. He was treated at an unnamed hotel in the Rivers state capital, an official said. The doctor’s hospital, Good Heart Hospital, as well as the hotel where he treated the diplomat, have been shut down, reports say.
This development, if confirmed will be a big blow to Nigeria’s effort to contain the deadly virus.
With only one case being treated in Lagos, the Minister of Health had declared Tuesday that Nigeria had succeeded in checkmating the spread of the virus in the country.
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