Ebola: Dead doctor’s infected widow moved to Lagos
The widow of Dr. Iky Sam Enemua, the medical doctor who died of Ebola in Port Harcourt after treating an ECOWAS official infected by the virus, has been moved to Lagos.
Her three-month-old baby is also one of the 160 people under surveillance in the Garden City, the State Government announced yesterday in an update on the spread of the disease to the oil city.
Also under observation is a patient on whom the late medical doctor performed surgery shortly before he fell ill and 157 others who had direct contact with him.
Most of the contacts were patients he attended to in his Samsteel Clinic at Rumuokoro, Port Harcourt.
The rest are the doctor and other medical personnel who treated him at Greenhart Hospital, also in Port Harcourt, Health Commissioner Sampson parker told reporters.
Dr. Enemua was infected and later died after treating in a hotel, a Nigerian diplomat, Oluibukun Koye, who was among the group that received the late Patrick Sawyer, the Nigerian index case in Lagos.
Koye who was apparently in isolation sneaked out of isolation in Lagos and left for Port Harcourt, after booking appointment with the late doctor in the said hotel.
Enemua reportedly treated the diplomat in secret and thereafter proceeded to de-contaminate the hotel room.
He however fell ill soon afterward and was rushed to Green Hart Hospital where he died.
The hospital authorities appeared to be unaware of his health status at the time.
He is the sixth Ebola victim to die in Nigeria.
Commissioner Parker said more contacts might be detected in due course.
He urged anyone who might have come in contact with the deceased and others to come out.
He spoke of government’s determination to face the challenge headlong.
He said experienced and capable hands are ready for the challenge.
Already Federal Ebola Emergency Committee headed by the Health Minister Onyebuchi Chukwu, and the Mobile Ebola Laboratory of the Federal Government are in Port Harcourt to assist the state government.
Dr. Parker also said that Mrs. Enemua ( widow of the doctor) who is the only symptomatic person among the 160 on the watch list had been moved to the Lagos treatment centre.
He explained that her movement became necessary for her emotion sake and also to allow the team in the state to concentrate on tracing the deceased’s contacts.
He urged members of the public not to panic over the disease or the corpse at the Unversity of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital(UPTH), stressing that the entire morgue and corpses would be de-contaminated.
The Chief Medical Director of UPTH, Prof. Aaron Ojule confirmed the plan to de-contaminate the mortuary and corpses yesterday evening, adding that contrary to widely spread speculation, Ebola virus does not survive in non-living organism.
Parker urged the people of the state, especially PDP members, to join hands in fighting the disease instead of indulging in politics.
He said the state government has invested so much in money and time in preparing to contain the virus.
He said: “As of today, the Rivers state Ebola Response Stakeholders meeting has been transformed to Emergency Operations Committee, like the National Committee.
“This is because the Abuja Epidemiological team (public Health group), the National Centre for Disease Control, some of the persons that worked in Lagos centre, the CDC, WHO, team from Hospital for Humanity in United States of America, group from Germany are all in Port Harcourt, we are now one team.”
He alleged plot by some people to politicise how Ebola got to the state.
His words: “This is not time for politics.When it is time for politics, we’ll play it, and no reasonable person should play politics with what we are facing now, because it can happen to anybody.
“Certain person in company of the late Liberian American citizen, Patrick Sawyer, identified as Oluibukun Koye, a diplomat who was among those that received Sawyer, sneaked out of Lagos after the death of Sawyer, to Port Harcourt, in connivance with one of his female colleagues, Lilian,dwho arranged for him to meet a Doctor in Port Harcourt who happened to be the now late Iky Sam Enemua,.
“They were looking for him in Lagos without any trace.Later they discovered he had boarded a flight to Port Harcourt.They quickly sent us his phone number with which we called him, but he did not answer, till after three days.We could not trace him in Port Harcourt.
“Lagos later called to say he had been found in Lagos; so nobody was sure he came to Port Harcourt.
“By the time he reappeared before the Lagos response team he was well again.He denied contact with anybody or going for treatment anywhere, so he was cleared and discharged, but was still under surveillance.
“After that he went his way and continued with his life, it was when he learnt about the death of the victim (Iky).
“In Port Harcourt, they checked into one of the local hotels around where he was treated.
“Dr. Iky actually treated him with the knowledge that he was suffering Ebola infection. We learnt that he tried to protect himself and also tried to de-contaminate the room after the treatment with a substance and left.
“He fell sick days after and was rushed to Green Hart Hospital at along Evo Road, GRA phase 2, Port Harcourt. Iky deceived the Doctor, he did not tell him about his contact with Ebola Victim.
“It was when news of his death came to Koye that he confessed that he travelled to Port Harcourt and was treated by Iky, that is how the information was discovered.”
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